Agata Patyna secures release from detention for a non-binary Palestinian asylum seeker

Last week, Mrs Justice Ellenbogen made an urgent order for interim relief mandating the Secretary of State for the Home Department (‘SSHD’) to release from immigration detention and accommodate a vulnerable Palestinian asylum seeker, YA. Yesterday, YA was finally provided with accommodation after five months in immigration detention.

YA is an HIV positive transgender/non-binary person from Palestine. They have a diagnosis of paranoid disorder, drug-induced psychosis, gender dysmorphia, a prolonged history of street homelessness, drug abuse, non-compliance with medication and struggling to come to terms with their gender identity and HIV diagnosis. In January 2024, SSHD detained them under immigration powers despite accepting that they could not be removed to Palestine as removals there are currently on hold. In February 2024, the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) granted YA bail subject to provision of accommodation by the SSHD. YA remained in detention for a further four months, suffering deterioration in their mental health and abuse by fellow detainees and staff in the detention centre.

Mrs Justice Ellenbogen accepted YA’s submissions that they had to be released from detention urgently, and rejected the SSHD’s request for more time to source accommodation for them.

Mrs Justice Ellenbogen also accepted that the SSHD’s conduct in the case (including failing to provide any evidence of the steps taken to source accommodation for YA) merited an award of costs on an indemnity basis.

Written judgment to follow.

Agata Patyna represented YA, instructed by Jamie Bell from Duncan Lewis Solicitors.