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State violence against the community sees death of another black man, Dalian Atkinson, after being Tasered by police

15 August 2016

Dalian_Atkinson__ex_Man_City_Football_athleteBritain's black communities have been left terrified in the wake of the tragic death of footballer Dalian Atkinson, after he was Tasered by police at his parents' home, in the early hours of Monday morning. Activist say this spotlights the alarming levels of force being used against people from the UK's African Caribbean communities and point to this, latest in a long line of fatalities, as reinforcing the need for ban of these so called 'less lethal weapons' against vulnerable people, particularly those detained under the Mental Health Act.

 

UN Human Rights Council adopt resolution on mental health and human rights

06 July 2016

UN_GA_MH_resolution_July_2016By Ruth Dayspring
The United Nations Human Rights Council has adopted a new resolution on mental health and human rights without a vote. With growing human rights concerns around the treatment of detained patients from the UK's African Caribbean communities, this comes as a timely reminder of the need for states to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms and to ensure that policies and services related to mental health comply with international human rights norms.

 

Review of provision of supported housing for those with mental health needs sidelines race

01 July 2016

Centre_for_MH_report_-_More_than_shelter_-_supported_accomodation_June_16A Department of Health commissioned literature review on people with mental health problems and housing's failure to make any reference to race, or the body of evidence which shows that the social and economic exclusion faced by ethnic minority groups makes them more vulnerable to becoming homeless, raises concerns across Britons black communities, that this omission is part of a move see the injustices faced by black patients who use mental health services remain unaddressed.

 

Inquiry on restraint, solitary confinement & strip searching of children in prison makes no reference to race

29 June 2016

Carlile_Inquiry_20_years_onThe 'Carlile Inquiry 10 years on', which examines the use of restraint, solitary confinement and strip-searching, has slammed the 'illegal systematic abuse of children' in this report. With young people from the UK's African Caribbean communities accounting for a staggering 28% of those in children's prison, the absence of any reference to race or indication on the use of force against this group is a grave omission race equality experts say.

 

BMH UK flag urgent need for the recognition of anti-black/African-phobic racism facing black Britons

22 June 2016

ECRI_300._jpgBMH UK has called on the Council of Europe's European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance to request that the British Government address the anti-black/African-phobic racism facing black Britons living in the UK. In a written submission, in preparation of their country monitoring report, BMH UK highlighted the consistent failure of the mainstream equalities agenda to address the racial injustices faced by black patients within mental health services. This document also detailed the discrimination faced by the wider community which has resulted in stark social and economic disparities that are consistently sidelined in public policies.

 

Questions raised in parliament on transparency of Taser use against detained patients

07 July 2016

officer_taser_beltBy Zephaniah Samuels
In a bid for greater transparency on the disturbing use of Taser against patients detained on locked psychiatric wards, shadow Lib Dem health spokesman The Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP has tabled a series of written questions asking for details on the number of times that this firearm has been deployed against patients in the past five years. This comes on the back of the former minister for mental health's call for a ban on Tasers in hospitals in support of BMH UK's campaign to end this human rights abuse.

 

Home Secretary needs to be alerted every time police attend mental health wards

01 July 2016

Charles_Walker_OBE_MP_3_Charles Walker MP's call for the Home Secretary to be notified whenever police are deployed onto psychiatric wards, reflects the widespread concern over the absence of any transparency around this practice. The need for independent investigations into every incident was flagged up as a way of addressing the culture of cover-up that currently surrounds such cases. These demands, which were made during the Policing and Crime Bill debate, are a sign of progress, but fall short of the outright ban of police presence on wards that BMH UK is lobbying for.

 

Shattering the silence on the hidden human rights abuse of Taser against detained mental health patients

30 June 2016

Rt_Hon_Norman_Lamb_speaking_Clause_to_ban_Taser_on_psychiatric_wards._-_13-06-16The call for an outright ban on the use of Taser against patients detained on locked psychiatric wards by the former minister for mental health the Rt. Hon Norman Lamb MPs in support of BMH UK's campaign, during the House of Commons debate on the Policing and Crime Bill, has placed this largely hidden human rights abuse on the national agenda, while reminding politicians and the sector more widely of the protections that this group have under international human rights law.

 

Prison Minister Andrew Selous tweets Juliet Lyon's appointment as new chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in custody

29 June 2016

Andrew_Selous_Prison_Minister_-__Juliet_Lyon_appointmentThe new chair to the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody has been announced through a tweet by Prison Minister Andrew Selous, describing the role as needing someone with 'compassion, integrity and commitment - all of which she has.' Race equality experts hope that the growing  disproportionately of black people from the UK's African Caribbean communities that are over represented across all custodial settings will be among the issues prioritised by the new chair.

 

BMH UK honoured at Black Fathers Annual Community Awards

21 June 2016

Black_Fathers_support_group_logoBy Ruth Dayspring
The Black Father's support group has given BMH UK's director Matilda MacAttram an award in recognition of her services to the community, for her leadership of the UK's only black led human rights campaigns group that advocates at a policy level for those from the community subject to detention under the Mental Health Act. BMH UK was nominated by organisers of this event for keeping the issue of the injustices faced by black people from the community in these systems on the political agenda.

 

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