Here is a summary of the detainees' demands:
1. The detainees demand temporary admission.
According to the Government's own rules the majority of them are being held illegally because they cannot be deported, nor is their detention a "last resort" measure. The Home Office is also in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights Article 5 (the right to liberty) and Article 8 (the right to family life - around half of those detained at Campsfield have families, yet are detained for no compelling reason, often for months, causing great and predictable hardship).
Many detainees' families and friends have offered substantial sureties; there is no conceivable reason why they would (or could) abscond; even so they are refused bail.
2. Some detainees have accepted "voluntary" repatriation. Even so, the Home Office persists in detaining them - for over 3 months in many cases. These people have surely suffered enough and should be allowed to return immediately.
3. There is complete loss of confidence in the Immigration Court at Newport, South Wales, where all Campsfield bail applications are now heard and all but 5% are dismissed. Judges there are said to have a contemptuous attitude and use
racist language toward detainees. The exceptionally high refusal rates can only be explained, it is felt, by entrenched racism.
Families must make long, expensive journeys to get to Newport (£150 return from London; those making longer journeys may have to stay overnight) only to see their loved one re-detained.
It is felt that the decision to move Campsfield bail hearings to Newport was malicious retaliation for the widely-publicised protests in March this year. The detainees want future bail hearings to be held, as they were previously, at either London or Birmingham Immigration Courts.
4. They demand an end to the squalid and overcrowded conditions. Frequently men are held 3 to a room and sometimes up to 7 in a room. The inadequate toilets and showers have become health-hazards. In these conditions infections spread rapidly - the more so as healthcare provision is also completely inadequate. Paracetamol is prescribed for almost any condition, and sometimes not even that is available.
For more information, contact 01865 726804 or 01865 558145
The detainees also sent a fax, on Tuesday, to the European Court of Human Rights, Liberty, Justice, Campsfield's MP Evan Harris, and the Secretary of State. This can be forwarded on request.