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Prosecution in Jimmy Mubenga case welcome, but G4S must not be let off the hook

Amnesty International welcomed the announcement today that three employees of security firm G4S would be charged with manslaughter in the Mubenga case, but said this should not mean their employers are let off the hook.

Jimmy Mubenga, 46, an Angolan man, collapsed while being restrained on a British Airways flight preparing to leave Heathrow Airport for Angola on 12 October 2010.

The three guards who accompanied him were arrested following Mr Mubenga's death but in 2012 the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to bring any charges against them. Today’s decision follows an inquest into Mr Mubenga's death last year in which a jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing.

However, the Crown Prosecution Service also announced today that it had decided not to prosecute the company G4S for corporate manslaughter.

Jan Shaw, Refugee Programme Director at Amnesty International UK, said:

“The case of Jimmy Mubenga is truly tragic and it is terrible that his family have been made to wait three and a half torturous years for the prospect of a trial.

“It is of course welcome news that the G4S employees are being held to account over his death, but that should not mean their employers get off the hook.

“Amnesty has been warning of the dangers of the improper control and restraint techniques routinely used by private security companies contracted by the UK government.

“If the government continues to outsource vital jobs like this to security firms then it must urgently improve the training given to employees and independently monitor their conduct.”

In July 2011, Amnesty published a report which found that private security companies, contracted by the UK Government, were using dangerous and improper control and restraint techniques and called for an overhaul of the system.

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