I feel like I have already been removed from society

I feel very isolated in here (Yarl’s Wood). It’s not like just a lonely feeling. It’s a different kind of isolation. I feel like I have already been removed to a place with different laws, removed from my friends and family, removed from society, so far removed from every comfort.

I find myself missing silly things like animals. I want to play with my dog. I have not seen a child in so long, do little people exist anymore?

I miss watching football with a cold Peroni. I wonder what happened in Game of Thrones? silly things really.

I am busy in here though, because English is my first language people always ask me to read documents for them and I want to help as best I can of course I do but it does take it’s toll on me. A lady was given a ticket yesterday and she was so distressed, it could have been avoided had she been provided with the help she needed as she does not read English.

I have to go now as I just received a text to go to reception. Every time I get a text message, I have a mini panic attack. Everyone does, and it’s doing my head right in.

Bye for now

From an angry foreigner who was made in Britain


I am involved in the hunger strike

I am involved in the hunger strike because I think we face very unfair conditions in that we are detained for an indefinite amount time. The uncertainty that we face everyday is unbearable which leads us to have stress, panic, and in turn a lot of health complication. This is the reason why we decided to go forward collectively with this hunger strike. Even though many of us have health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes we have nevertheless persisted to continue the hunger strike because we want the public to know what we face and make sure there is a change in policy.

We have been detained without notice. Young girls after having turned 18 are sent into detention centres. People who hold short term visas are sometimes sent straight from the airport to the detention centres. Many of us have our cases which are running but the Home Office still sends us tickets to go back home which gives us a lot of stress. Today, 3 girls were given tickets to go back to India. One of them is due to leave on Monday. Her case is running and yet she is given a ticket. What can she do— she only has 2 more days. Even when we try to pave our own path by asking for bail or temporary release we are always refused. They just do not allow us to do make our own attempts through legal paths— they are always impeding. They do not allow is to get work permits outside but make us work for £1 an hour or £3 for a day. It’s very unfair.

Today when Diane Abott came to visit us, we gave her a list of demands on behalf of the women of YW. She looked at them and told us she would make sure that something would happen. She told us that she would take this to the Parliament and make sure that the detention is reduced to 28 days and no longer be indefinite. We have hope but we will still continue with the hunger strike so that something will definitely be done.

We got to see Diane Abbott today

Hello again from Yarl’s Wood

We got to see Diane Abbott today, although they told her that she couldn’t speak to individual people we had a feeling they would try to show her the “nice bits” and so we waited, for our opportunity. I could not accept that I would be prevented from speaking to an elected official, the last time I checked I was still in Britain and not Guantanamo (or am I?)

In my mind I knew what I wanted to say, the points I wanted to get across, so I was very annoyed with myself when she asked me personal questions about my individual case and I got emotional and started crying.

After I got myself together I followed her to the gym and I stood there as I watched all the women sat all around her and her assistants/political advisors telling her about their individual cases, how long they have been here and so on and I stood there just looking at the desperation, it was like their lives depended on this woman and I felt sad.

But still it was good that she came, anything that raises is our spirits is welcome. It made the enviroment slightly less hostile for a short time and gave an opressed people hope.

I wish I could hope.

Thank you for giving me a voice,

From an angry foreigner made in Britain

She managed to see us. Diane Abbott the shadow home secretary was here this morning.

She managed to see us. Diane Abbott the shadow home secretary was here this morning with her entourage. One of them was Shami Chakrabarti, the human rights lawyer.

We, as a group of people who are detained here and are on hunger strike, we wanted to show the management here that we wanted to see her. In case they wanted to stop us, we went down to the reception corridor. We wanted to stop them showing her the better places and stopping our grievances being heard.

I was the first person to say what was happening about me because I was at the front of the group.

We had to go into the sports hall because there was no space where we were. The poor woman had a chance to talk to us all, one by one to hear our stories. She had, to sit down and listen to our grievances of most us, even though she didn’t have enough time for everyone. Even though she was there for 15 minutes, she managed to hear each and every one’s story. Which is what we want- we want people to hear our cry.

We were really crying to her. Even herself she was emotional as well to see us in that state. If you see someone crying if makes you emotional too. Because so many people wanted to talk to her about their experience here. When we saw her, we had all wanted to see her. She was Someone we had always wanted to see.

Her secretary was saying that there was not enough time to hear from everyone and she said we should write our stories and concerns, put it in an envelope or send it through emails. So far, we are happy that at least there are a lot of people are supporting us.

Oh my god, there were people who were crying. People who were detained for 10 months 12 months 14 months. We spoke about how we are not allowed to work outside. But when we came here they want to employ us for £1 per hour for 3 hours in a day. She heard us. If that they can employ us here, why can’t they let us work out there and contribute to the country? Especially those who have lived here for so long.

What we want is for her to go to talk to those people who are in power. To take action and deal with our situation here.

We are women, we have a life. We need to work. Our children came to the UK when they when they were young and now they are being detained. Everything here is depressing.

I want to say to Diane Abbott that we have been waiting for that moment. That she was indeed a shoulder, the only shoulder we have, to cry on. They should act on all the demands we have made. They are all critical. And, please, even if they will not meet all of our concerns, make sure the young people and people who have no lives elsewhere are not detained. The young people are the future of Britain, why do they want to detain them?

They should never call us illegal immigrants – we are undocumented migrants – I can’t wait for it to end, my daughter can’t wait.

Last night a lot of us on the wing we watched question time. There was this lady, Ash Sarkar, who said ‘why do you detain women who are pregnant and vulnerable women and women with health issues and refugees who have cases that have still pending and have rights of appeal in Yarl’s Wood’. And the man, who was part of the government said, they don’t detain such people as asylum seekers. That is a bloody lie. That was a lie from the pit of hell. How can you say that you only detain illegal immigrants who you are about to deport, but then you release them and then you redetain them over again and cause trauma to them for obeying your rules to go and report?

When I saw that, I felt that something is happening out there. And maybe certain action might be taken concerning our grievances and our cry.

[Statements from #HungerForFreedom strikers]

“The mental health nurses treat appointments like extensions of the immigration interview.

And healthcare do not take matters seriously, they just tell you you’re OK… if you’re sick and there’s blood you have to bring proof of it before they’ll see you.

“The mental health department should stop working for the Home Office – people are being asked if they came here knowing if they were going to stay.”

“Home Office officials take matters into their own hands.”

“The diet in detention is awful – most of us are on Omoprozole [a medicine used to prevent stomach ulcers and stomach acid] and iron tablets; we weren’t on those when we came in here. There are tablets to counteract tablets to counteract tablets.”

“Rule 35 – the doctors do not give the detainees ample time to discuss what kind of torture they went through – what happened, when and how it’s impacting on them. They just measure physical scars, and behind those scars, there’s a story. They’re quick to refer you to a mental health and wellbeing specialist, but they ignore their own rules.”

“We need respect from officers, they can’t just barge into people’s room and do random searches.”

They called her, she went to the unit office and then they locked her inside.

[Statement made just after midnight Friday 23rd February 2018]

They called her, she went to the unit office and then they locked her inside. When they locked her inside, that’s how they took her. That’s how they do it, they wait until it’s the middle of the night when no-one’s around, and then they take you.

We heard screams and everyone came out. We were seeing her screaming, screaming, screaming, and an officer was standing in front of the door. Eventually, they took some white paper to cover the window in the door. Whilst she was in there she had a panic attack, she couldn’t breathe. They called the nurses and other officers, it was an emergency. The officer was telling her ‘RELAX, TRY TO BREATHE, TRY TO BREATHE!’

One of the detainees could see her on the floor and started saying ‘SHE’S DYING, SHE’S DYING!’ The nurses came and tried to chase us back to our rooms. She was still in the room and officers were still there, and tried to chase us back to our rooms. We didn’t go, we stayed there.

She had first aid and they put her in a wheelchair. One of us asked them where they are taking her; they said ‘we’re taking her for further treatment.’ We told them ‘you can’t deport her, she’s sick.’ They said they won’t, they’re going to take her to hospital. Now we haven’t seen her and we don’t know where she is. We’ll find out tomorrow if they deported her.