Disabled asylum-seeker appeals in discrimination case
Disability Now, July 2007

The High Court is considering whether a disabled asylum-seeker from Kenya can stay in Britain to prepare a case under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) against the Home Office and the company which runs Harmondsworth Detention Centre.

Peter Gitau Gichura, a wheelchair-user, is awaiting removal to Kenya by the Home Office. He was held in Harmondsworth Detention Centre in February and August 2006.

He claims that bathroom facilities were inaccessible, that he received inadequate medical treatment and that he was subjected to “painful and threatening” body searches.

Mr Gichura’s case will be heard in the Court of Appeal, which will rule on whether disabled people had any protection in prisons and detention centres under the DDA before December 2006 and the introduction of the disability equality duty (DED).

The DED is meant to ensure that all public authorities pay “due regard” to the promotion of equality for disabled people in every area of their work.