Inquest into death in immigration detention begins

By agency reporter
November 21, 2018

Branko Zdravkovic died at the age of 43 whilst being held in The Verne, an immigration detention centre in Dorset. He was found hanging in a bathroom on 9 April 2017, 19 days after entering the detention centre. The inquest opened on 20 November 2018 at Bournemouth Coroner’s Court, and is expected to last three weeks.

Zdravkovic was born in Slovenia. He had lived in the UK for eight years and had worked as a waiter prior to detention. He was facing administrative removal at the time of his death.

Whilst he was at The Verne, he was put on self harm watch and had been recognised as an Adult at Risk in detention by the Home Office. He was placed in the Care and Separation Unit and segregated from others.

The inquest is likely to examine:

  • The implementation and adequacy of self harm and suicide prevention procedures and risk management under the Assessment Care and Detention and Treatment  
  • The healthcare treatment and mental health assessments
  • The use of segregation on vulnerable detainees

Nicola Sanderson, partner of Branko Zdravkovic said: “It is terribly sad that Branko’s life ended so abruptly as he still had a wonderful future ahead of him. He was a warm, intelligent person. I hope the inquest will improve how detainees are treated and processed by the parties responsible for keeping them safe.”

In 2017 there was a total of eleven deaths of immigration detainees, the highest number of deaths on record. More than half of these deaths were of EU citizens.

INQUEST submitted evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights inquiry into immigration detention calling for an independent review commissioned by Government on how best to reduce the population of immigration detainees and phase out the use of immigration detention.



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