Another Hunger Strike at Morton Hall

Latest Morton Hall update, also on Nottingham Indymedia. 17th Jan 2013.

Another Hunger Strike at Morton Hall

A number of detainees have been on hunger strike inside Morton Hall IRC for as many as 9 days. Abbas Ayub, a Pakistani national said 3 men were protesting because they want to be returned to their countries of birth but the UK Borders Agency continues to detain them. Abbas said he had been refusing food since last Monday because he has been detained since May, even though he has agreed to return to Pakistan voluntarily. He said that no one from UKBA had spoken to him about his protest. “I just want to go back” he told No Borders Nottingham.

Indefinite detention is a deeply controversial part of the UK’s immigration detention system. According to Nick Hardwick, the chief inspector of prisons, speaking last month, some immigration detainees have “simply been forgotten”. One Somali migrant has been held for 9 years after he completed his prison sentence.

The hunger strike is the most recent in a series of protests by Morton Hall prisoners regarding their treatment over the last twelve months. On Wednesday 9th Jan, a Sudanese detainee attempted suicide by slitting his wrists. Friends of the man said that he was frustrated and angry at his long period of detention. Prior to this, a peaceful protest involving between 30 and 40 detainees took place on Christmas Eve. Prisoners had been left without running water, working toilets or cooked food for a number of days.

This is not the first hunger strike inside Morton Hall. In July 2011 an estimated 100 detainees went on hunger strike due to their treatment by the authorities. Two detainees scaled the centre’s rooftops and threatened to jump within less than 24 hours of each other. The detainees, originally from Palestine and Malaysia, were protesting at the ‘disrespectful’ and ‘inhumane’ treatment they experienced, including being detained for prolonged periods.

No Borders Nottingham activist Geoff Bates said “This hunger strike is only the most recent manifestation of ongoing resistance to this country’s inhuman migration control system. The indefinite detention of migrant detainees is an act of violence by the state on vulnerable members of our community and it must end.”

Morton Hall detention centre in Lincolnshire kicking off again

Demo at Morton Hall, Dec 2012Morton Hall in revolt again – Published: January 03, 2013

The situation in Morton Hall immigration detention centre is at boiling point again after a series of incidents around Christmas. The trigger for events was another serious breach of their responsibilities by the detention centre management who failed to deal swiftly with disruptions to the water supply. A large number of detainees refused to return to their cells in protest. A serious disturbance on Christmas Eve resulted in a detainee ending up in hospital with a serious head injury and injuries to a number of prison officers. There was also a thwarted escape attempt on Christmas Day.

According to No Deportations the situation that sparked the incident was grim: there was a serious water supply failure, before the incident, all toilets blocked, no running water whatsoever, no cooked meals, detainees given sandwiches and cold drinks …

Full article on Nottingham Indymedia: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/4699

See also:
Solidarity demo at Morton Hall detention centre, December 16, 2012
Hunger strike at Morton Hall immigration centre, July 25, 2012

Morton Hall Noise Demo – repeat visit to Lincolnshire detention centre – 29/10/2011

On Saturday 29th October there will be a noise demo outside Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre in Lincolnshire. This follows two previous demos already held there over the summer http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/1962

We want to continue to express our disgust and anger against the existence of yet another new detention centre. With news of detainees escaping and going on hunger strike in recent months, it seems more important than ever to communicate our solidarity with the struggle of those held inside. We’ll be bringing a sound system, pots and pans and other noise making materials, and it would be great if others can do the same.

We plan to meet at Nottingham train station at 10am to catch the train arriving at Swinderby at 11.10. We will have some funds to cover the cost of travel for people. The detention centre is 10 minutes walk from the station. If others are coming from elsewhere, we suggest meeting at the detention centre at 11.30. The address is Morton Hall IRC, Swinderby,
Lincolnshire, LN6 9PT. We encourage as many people to join us there with banners, placards and noise making materials.

Morton Hall detention centre was formally opened by immigration minister Damien Green on 1st June. Morton Hall was formerly a prison for female foreign national prisoners but has now been converted to an immigration removal centre for male detainees. It is run by HM Prison Service in collaboration with the UK Border Agency. Less than 30 miles from Nottingham it is the only detention centre in the East Midlands.

This demo is a chance for us to show solidarity with those imprisoned and to let them know that there are people out there who oppose the way that they are being treated by our inhuman and racist immigration controls.

There is also a visitors group that has been recently formed to offer support and friendship to those inside. For more info on this, contact mhvg [at] riseup.net

Hip-Hop Benefit Night for Morton Hall at The Sumac Centre, Nottingham – report

On Monday, Monday October 17th 2011 a Hip-Hop Benefit Night at The Sumac Centre Featuring … Test Their Logik, Louis Cypher and Martin the Livewire took place.

Details: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2104

The benefit gig was to help support the Morton Hall Detainee Visitors Group.

Test Their Logik brought their empowering and inspirational hip-hop sounds all the way from Southern Ontario, Kanada AKA Turtle Island.

The Morton Hall detention centre was formally opened by immigration minister Damien Green on 1st June. Morton Hall was formerly a prison for female foreign national prisoners but has now been converted to an immigration removal centre for male detainees. It is run by HM Prison Service in collaboration with the UK Border Agency. Less than 30 miles from Nottingham it is the only detention centre in the East Midlands.

Demonstrations there are a chance to show solidarity with those imprisoned and to let them know that there are people out there who oppose the way that they are being treated by our inhuman and racist immigration controls.

Previous article about demonstration in July 2011:
http://www.nobordersnottingham.org.uk/regional-news-and-events/morton-hall-noise-demo-this-saturday/

Morton Hall Noise Demo this Saturday – 23rd July 2011

This Saturday (23rd July) there will be a noise demo outside Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre in Lincolnshire to express our disgust and anger against the opening of another new detention centre. We’ll be bringing a sound system, pots and pans and we encourage others to do the same.

We will meet at Nottingham train station at 10am to catch the train arriving at Swinderby at 11.10. The detention centre is 10 minutes walk from the station. If people are coming from elsewhere, we suggest meeting at the detention centre at 11.30. The address is Morton Hall IRC, Swinderby, Lincolnshire, LN6 9PT. We encourage as many people to get themselves down there with banners, placards and noise making materials.

Morton Hall detention centre was formally opened by immigration minister Damien Green on 1st June. The centre holds single men and has 393 bed spaces, there are already men imprisoned inside, and ongoing refurbishment work means that detainees will arrive in stages until the centre is finished in September. This is a chance for us to show solidarity with those imprisoned and to let them know that there are people who oppose the way in which they have been treated by the UK Border Agency.

Protest on the day of Moreton Hall detention centre official opening – June 1st 2011

On Wednesday June 1st 2011 a noisy demonstration was held outside Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre in Swinderby, Lincolnshire, expressing dismay, disgust and anger against the opening of another new detention centre. No Borders activists from Nottingham were joined by Campaign to Close Campsfield (Oxford).

Morton Hall was officially opened by immigration minister Damian Green. The centre, previously a prison, has space to hold single men with 393 bed spaces. There is ongoing refurbishment work at the centre, so detainees will arrive in stages until the centre is finished (due to complete in September).

Background:
http://ncadc.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/new-immigration-prison-official-opening-ceremony/
http://www.nobordersnottingham.org.uk/regional-news-and-events/new-detention-centre-announced-at-hmp-morton-hall-in-lincolnshire/

‘New’ detention centre announced at HMP Morton Hall in Lincolnshire

Of the three prisons that the government have just announced that they will be closing over the next few months, HMP Morton Hall on the Notts/Lincolnshire border will now be re-roled as a detention centre. A closed adult female prison with 329 places, it has already been in use as a specialist centre for Foreign National Prisoners for a couple of years, and will now be handed over to the UK Borders Agency. This should bring the number of UK detention places up to something like 2900 places.

Source: http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/newsrelease130111a.htm

Background: http://nobordersbrighton.blogspot.com/2010/02/hmp-morton-hall-to-become-irc.html

See also:
http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/news/Children-time-visit-prison-mums/article-1262383-detail/article.html

No Borders Nottingham aims to hightlight the continued use of Morton Hall as a place of detention. We aim to organise a workshop / roadshow around the issue of Morton Hall and how to support people detained there. The last Government dropped the idea of using it as a detention centre and an earlier workshop / roadshow was put on hold. For details about this, please watch this space.