This Saturday, 5 July, there will be another protest against immigration detention.
The demonstration at Harmondsworth is organised by Movement for Justice, in solidarity with all imprisoned migrants, calling for an end to the asylum fast track system and immigration detention.
See below for details, or check out the Facebook event page
This is the latest in a series of protests against detention. Please get there if you can.
Detention is abuse
Amidst all the shocking reports of incidents of abuse within detention centres – disgraceful as they are – our message remains loud and clear: all immigration detention is an abuse of human rights.
This protest comes just days after the publication of the latest damning report on Harmondsworth by the Independent Monitoring Board.
The IMB inspectors are concerned for the welfare of detainees, especially the high numbers who are mentally disturbed or exhibiting severe behavioural difficulties. There is no provision for their needs at Harmondsworth, which is run for profit by American security company GEO, under the same regime as a Category B prison.
The IMB reports that each year the Home Office accepts the failings, but has not acted to end this abuse.
Remember- the detention rules state that no one should be detained if their mental health needs cannot be provided for.
And yet the IMB found that GEO uses the punishment segregation block to isolate mentally disturbed detainees, for weeks on end, because they are unable to provide for their needs.
And children too…
Children are still detained whilst their ages are assessed, despite government claims to have ended child detention. In one case, the IMB was shocked to discover that a 15 year old boy at risk of self-harm was detained for four months, without ever being referred to social services.
This is the reality of immigration detention. If the Home Office accepts it is failing mentally ill people, and yet fails to act, what hope for the others? With so many detained indefinitely in these conditions, never knowing if or when they will get out, it is no wonder so many become ill.
There can be no justification for locking people up in this way. It has to stop.
We need to talk about detention
The detention estate has been growing for years now. Every year, millions of pounds is transferred from the public purse to multinational security companies.
Beyond occasional press reports of particularly awful incidents of abuse, or deaths, there has been no public or political debate about detention. It’s just been allowed to keep on growing, with more and more people locked up, and increasing profits for the likes of GEO, Capita, G4S and Serco.
End detention now
Detention is wasteful, harmful and shameful. Whichever way you look at, it is wrong. It is always an abuse: it doesn’t need to reformed, it needs to be abolished.
It’s time to bring an end to the imprisonment of migrants. Join the protest on Saturday if you can. Join the campaign for justice, for human rights, for an end to detention.
Harmondsworth Detention Centre
Colnbrook By-Pass, West Drayton, Mdx, UB7 0HB
(buses 350 from Heathrow T5& 81 from Hounslow West – both on Piccadilly line – Bus U3 from West Drayton)
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