Death in detention – UK as a country of sanctuary?

Today, at Oakington detention centre in Cambridgeshire, many other migrant people held there against their will have protested following the death of a 40 year old man earlier in the morning:
Downplaying the seriousness of another death in a detention centre and the response by detainees, press have reported that cops have been sent in to negotiate about the ‘disturbance’, backed up by ‘protective kit’ (as if it’s police safety that is the issue here rather than the safety of the people locked up in an old RAF base converted into a prison!). But this should not be downplayed. Death in detention is certainly not a new phenomenon. As long ago as 2005 deaths and suicides in detention centres were being highlighted: Continue reading

Disabled asylum seeker under threat of deportation

Peter Gichura is a disabled asylum seeker under threat of deportation. He was mistreated in Harmondsworth and is bringing a case against the centre. Unsurprisingly, he Home Office is keen to deport him, and fast. At 11.30am, Monday 21 May, Central London County Court, 13-14 Park Crescent W1 (Great Portland Street tube) the judge will rule whether his disability discrimination case can go ahead. On Wednesday 23 May at High Court of Justice,
Strand WC2 (Holborn or Charing Cross tube) his legal team will oppose his deportation. Actions in solidarity are planned….
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Harmondsworth/Heathrow detention centre protest suppressed by ‘riot’ cops 5 days after hunger strike started over human rights violations

Saturday April 5th 2008: Around 6.30 this morning ‘riot’ police were at Harmondsworth removal centre close to Heathrow airport, and detainees were taken away from the centre in vans. Around 30 detainees have been taken to unknown destinations, according to the news received by No Borders activists. From previous experience this looks like a typical reply from the authorities to break up protests by moving detainees to other prisons around the country and putting people in isolation.

Many thanks to Indymedia, the only independent media in the UK it seems. The lack of response from the mainstream media around the detainees’ protest has been shameful.

Read the detainees’ petition signed by 116 detainees:

Read also, Press Release by supporting groups:

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Harmondsworth food refusal & courtyard occupation – all day April 1st (continues April 4th)

APRIL 4th – HUNGER STRIKE CONTINUES, find out why on Indymedia UK:
… almost the totality of detainees in Harmondsworth, 300 men, are refusing food.

Yesterday morning, April 1st, from 9am, all – or the majority at least- of immigration detainees at Harmondsworth removal centre refused food and were in peaceful occupation of the courtyard.

Detainees said: ‘We are human beings, we want to be treated with dignity we shall stay in the coutyard until our demands are heard.’

Full story:

Later at 11pm, it was added “some detainees, they say about a hundred, are still in the courtyard and refusing to go back in. They intend to spend the night in the courtyard. They are gettig water. Some have duvets and warm clothes. Very few people have eaten, most are still refusing food since 9am.”
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