Many people visited at Campsfield ask about the demonstrations and they really appreciate it, so let's make this Saturday's demo a big and noisy one (12 noon - 2pm Campsfield House, Kidlington), and give our support to people who will have already gone four days without food as a protest against their barbaric treatment.
(This report came from a message from regular visitor to Campsfield Megan).
NCADC News Service
Mass Hunger Strike by detained Zimbabweans
United Network of Detained Zimbabweans (UNDZ) in the UK Zimbabweans, detained in TynsleyHouse / Haslar / Lindholme / Colnbrook / Dungavel and Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centres, refused to eat breakfast this morning and will
refuse all meals until Saturday morning. They are holding a 3-day
hunger strike to protest at conditions in the centres and the
continued deportations to Zimbabwe.
In a statement to NCADC from Harmondsworth one of the detainees representing UNDZ said: 'On Tuesday the 14th June, Jack Straw the Foreign Secretary in a written ministerial statement said: "Zimbabweans are deprived of their democratic and human rights, facing the consequences of chronic economic misrule, and grappling with severe food shortages.
"Yet Charles Clarke the Home Secretary, continues to detain and
deport Zimbabweans, is he unaware of what his Foreign Secretary knows to be true, that Zimbabwe is a very dangerous place to be if you are an enemy real or imagined of Robert Mugabe."
Those on hunger strike will issue a collective statement later today.
Below is a statement issued by detainees in Harmondsworth on Thursday
16th June 2005
Clarion Call for Humane Treatment of Detainees at Harmondsworth
Dear Sir/ Madam,
We as detainees have decided to bring to your
attention our odious stay at the above-mentioned centre. Firstly, we
would like to bring to light the treatment detainees receive from
security staff. This perpetual abuse of authority is having an
adverse effect on detainees' fragile mental health state.
Below are some of the issues we have tried to discuss with our
custodians but to little avail.
The Withholding of Food from New Detainees
Detainees who are brought to the centre outside mealtimes are not
provided with a meal. This includes those detainees who spend the
whole day in Bail Court and are baptized with starvation on their
return to the detention centre. They are told we have run out of food
until next mealtime.
The Draconian Food Booking System
Newly arrived detainees are again forced to eat vegetarian meals
before they qualify for food of their choice.
Food Portions in the Detention Centre
We have expressed on several occasions that the food portions are not sufficient for us. Detainees are given two scoops of rice a day, one at lunch and one at dinner, seven days a week. We are also provided with the most acidic fruits and most of us are always hungry.
The Shambolic State of Our Communal Facilities
We have no access to electronic shaving equipment and are told to
book for the saloon on Wing Day. The toilets and showers are
insufficiently cleaned and this, compounded with poor drainage, means the place is always smelly.
Officers' Treatment of Detainees
As detainees we are viewed as worthless by our imperious officers.
They are impervious to our human rights and individuality. Detainees have complained of being verbally and physically abused by the officers. An example of such treatment is when a detainee was strip-searched in the canteen in front of female officers and during mealtime.
Treatment of Deportees
The escorts beat the deportees at the airport and verbally abuse us.
When you refuse to go, they handcuff you and drag you along by the handcuffs. The escorts have even boasted about how they beat
Zimbabwean girls from Yarl's Wood, some of whom suffered neck
inflammations, cuts from handcuffs and punches in the face.
Some of our colleagues are denied access to x-rays on their return to detention and are told to take painkillers. One Zimbabwean was so badly hurt by the escorts that they were released from detention on medical grounds.
Some letters sent to us are confiscated at the detention information
centre, saying 'due to the nature of the letter-head it is not
possible for you to receive it.' When you go to court they say you
need evidence to support your case but they hold up the evidence that people collect saying it will incite others. Did anybody come into detention with others? All Immigration are concerned about is to get you deported.
We are ill-treated. The officers lie about someone's behaviour on
their report, stating that he/she is not sympathising with the
authorities, as a way of damaging one's credibility, so that the Home Office may use it against you in front of the judges at court. They are only concerned about deporting people, saying you are not sympathising with the authorities so we cannot grant you bail or release you.
Monthly Reports of Our Cases from the Home Office Reports are faxed to you on 26 April 2005 and you receive it on 4 May
2005 from the information centre and in the case of one detainee that was after his flight on the 3 May 2005 had been cancelled.
From all The Detainees Harmondsworth Detention Centre
P.O. Box 724
Middlesex UB7 0XN
End of Bulletin:
Source for this Message:
United Network of Detained Zimbabweans in the UK
Detainees Harmondsworth Detention Centre