United Kingdom Border Agency / harassment, unreasonable detention
The UK Border Agency are targeting people for unreasonable detention, probably based on race and appearance. Here is my story:
UK Border Agency
Re: GAT 3029754
Harassment and unreasonable search and detention for seven hours of a native U.S. citizen studying at Oxford University
On the morning of January 4, 2010 your female employee S. Judra (?) and her supervisor
treated me like a suspected criminal or terrorist upon my arrival to the UK and started a chain of events that nearly caused my summary expulsion from the country.
Upon my landing at Gatwick, Judra asked me questions about my occupation but did not accept my answers and demanded proof of my enrollment at Oxford even though I am not required to be a student there to enter the UK. Indeed, as a US person I do not need a visa at all to enter the UK, nor do we require visas from you.
Judra falsely claimed to her supervisor that I refused to answer her questions, therefore creating a pretext to detain me.
My bags and person were subject to multiple and meticulous searches; my notebooks, papers, cell phone and books were taken away to be read for special examination and I was forced to be examined by a medical doctor and be fingerprinted and photographed by Mr. Mooney multiple times. I received a "NOTICE TO DETAINEE REASONS FOR DETENTION AND BAIL RIGHTS." I was detained in a room with detainees from Arab and African countries.
Your agents went through my pockets and wallet and repeatedly asked me about my cash money and finances. They read my personal papers. Is this how democratic countries behave towards people not suspected of a crime? Do you think it is legal to behave this way because I am not British? Do you think that certain people are automatically suspect, even those born in the USA? Do you think you can treat law-abiding American citizens this way?
Even though I asked Judra to contact Oxford University and provided her with a phone number, she and her supervisor continued their investigation and were determined to find a reason to bar me from the UK. They behaved like little Fascist dictators and scolded another detainee for lending me her cell phone so I could cry for help to Oxford University.
Later, Judra told me she had confirmed my enrollment at Oxford, but she lied. She then went home for the day without resolving my release. She left my open case to Mr. Hutton.
Oxford University staff pleaded with Mr. Hutton and I was released in the afternoon after a third personal interview.
Please contact me if you have had similar experiences.