We have been detained indefinitely without having committed any crime; our only one crime is to claim asylum in the UK.
1.Some of us still have appeals pending; our countries are not safe for us to go back voluntarily.
2. Some of us who want to go back, but we are hostage, SERCO (the private company that runs the centre) is making money from us.’
Colnbrook detainee Forum
Over 100 detainees went on hunger strike in Colnbrook on the 8th April 2006. The hunger strike started as a spontaneous reaction against the repression inside the centre during the 300 strong protest outside to demand the closure of all detention centres. A week later 120 detainees went on hunger strike at Haslar (Hampshire) in solidarity with Colnbrook. The hunger strike was broken when a peaceful occupation of the courtyard was violently repressed.
120 detainees went on a hunger strike in Campsfield House near Oxford on June 14th.
The people detained live in fear. Detention makes it difficult to stay in contact with friends, family and solicitors. Many are not able to find a solicitor before they are arbitrarily deported to the country they have fled from - to face whatever persecution forced them to come here in the first place. Many immigration detainees are torture and rape survivors, many had family members killed, sometimes before their eyes.
Home Office figures reveal that there are 2,250 people in detention the UK, men, women and children. 25.000 in total were detained last year, around 15.000 were deported. More people were deported in the first quarter 2006 than ever before: despite the fact that asylum applications are all together decreasing.
PEOPLE ARE FORCED TO RETURN TO COUNTRIES LIKE AFGHANISTAN, DRC, SUDAN, IRAQ…
The government does not monitor what happens to people after deportation. NGOs and human rights activists have reported numerous cases of people imprisoned, tortured & even killed after being deported.
Harmondsworth and Colnbrook are next to each other near Heathrow airport, and have a capacity of 550 and 326 respectively, holding single men. Harmondsworth went on fire during a disturbance in 2004, following the suicide of detainee Sergey Baraunick, unfortunately the centre re-opened. Tinsley House (135 capacity: men, women and children) is near Gatwick, where they are planning to build a fourth detention centre, thus turning the place in a gulag of concentration camps. Yarl's Wood near Bedford was built to detain up to 900, the biggest concentration camp in Europe. Half of the centre burnt down in 2002, with great danger for the detainees locked inside. The centre re-opened to detain single
women, children and families.
We stand for freedom of movement and the right to remain!
links: www.indymedia.org.uk, www.ncadc.org.uk, www.barbedwirebritain.org.uk, www.noii.org.uk, www.apil2.org.uk