This week in Sheffield, Rosie (activist and zine-maker extraordinaire) launched her brand new zine, a handmade rough guide to immigration detention, for those at risk and their supporters. Rosie is the creator of the very popular Asylum Interview zine, which you can find in our Toolkit here.
The Freed Voices group made vital contributions to the development of this new detention zine, and wrote this statement which was read out at the launch event:
Freed Voices is a group of experts by experience dedicated to speaking out about the realities of detention and calling for detention reform. Between us, we have lost over 20 years of our lives to indefinite detention in the UK.
Detention has had a damaging, and unnecessary, impact on all Freed Voices members, whatever our status, whatever our backgrounds and whatever our circumstances are. This is one of the reasons why we are dedicated to be a part of the wide range of calls for detention reform and determined to undo the set of harsh policies that directly affect averagely 27000 people every year, and, of course, indirectly impact many more.
Now, immigration detention has been identified as a major human rights issue in the UK. The immeasurable negative impacts of detention: mental health, human cost, financial cost and its inefficiency have been widely reported and the government can no longer plead ignorance or escape the realties of it.
Knowledge is power and this is vital when you have to swim across the ocean of harsh immigration policies and practices in the UK. As a group with first hand experience, we are well aware of the importance of having vital resources that people can refer to gain more knowledge around immigration detention, ever present risk of detention during Home Office reporting events, and necessary advice, guidance and preparations for people at risk of detention.
We are confident that this Detention Zine is covering all the above essential areas related to immigration detention and this is not only a vital tool for people at risk of detention; this is vital for people who have loved ones, friends who are at risk of detention and for any organization that give advice to people on this subject.
We consider it as a privilege and are proud to have helped with this by sharing our first hand expertise. Credits go to Rosie for instigating and designing this and all others, such as the Right to Remain for their valuable contributions.
We wholeheartedly wish best of luck with this launching event and hope that many will use this Detention Zine as a vital tool.
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