Lillija: This Saturday there is going to be a protest

A woman who had a ticket and everyone came into my room and I passed my keys to my friend because I needed to go to a legal visit. But the legal visit was cancelled. And so I went back to my room with Anna. We went back to my room and there was about 20 residents and the girl who had a ticket to Kenya. The manager came and told me and Anna “you two, you need to go out of the room”. I said “why aren’t you telling everyone else to go out of my room, It’s my room”. And she said “it’s not your room it’s our room”. And she said to Lucy that she needed to go to reception because she had a flight.

The manager went out, and all the girls were talking and saying we need to help her because we felt sorry for her and that she was going to be killed if taken back. We prayed together. She took her clothes off and got into bed behind us. The manager started threatening us saying “it’s not going to help for your case and your bail application”. They were only saying it to me and Anna. I say “we are not going out of the room!” and she said ‘thank you very much girls’.

And then she opened the door, saying “I’ll give you a last warning”. There were about 20 girls before but some were scared and left but 9 girls stayed in the room. We were only sitting in the bed and praying and singing songs from Church.

And then Officers started running in. We thought it was riot police. They started shouting hands up hands up. We get scared because they were very loud. And one officer started beating us with his shield edge and we recognised him shouting and said “Joe! Its you!” Other officer told him that you can’t do that, you need to push with the shield. I thought that he can kill us because with that edge. You can beat the head or the neck and by accident they can kill us. We put up our legs and he punched the under knee. Anna got bruises over her legs. Other officers only pushed with the shield not beating.

Other officers with normal clothes came and took us and the manager told other officers to restrain Anna. Anna said she has very big pain in her leg and she can’t walk. And the manager said “why are you pretending you can’t walk”. They put 7 of us in segregation. And when we were there they brought healthcare there and took photos of us.

They said I could go to hospital but I was scared to go because they said we would be moved to prison after.

5 girls were moved back to the unit the next day. Me and Anna remained in segregation.

A manager came down to segregation to say that we were going to be moved to prison. We were in segregation from the 9th April till the 23rd. two weeks we were there. It’s really cold down there and there are two many ants. We asked why they were only holding me and Anna and not others but they didn’t give reason. They said that they weren’t going to charge us but just to move to prison under immigration powers.

Anna got moved to Holloway prison and they wanted to move me to Wakefield prison. I had my bail hearing. The officers were telling me that I wouldn’t get bail and that I would have to apply from prison again. I tried and thank god I was released.

That Joe officer, that wasn’t the first time he made bruises on me. About 4 or 5 months ago they came in and did a room search on me. One of the officers started asking me loads of question and I got angry saying I did not want to answer the questions, your job is to do room search. I wanted to leave while the room search happened. I know that I can do that. And I left, and Joe grabbed me pushed me back in the room and held my arm up for about two or three minutes and I had big bruises after that. I showed the management and they made a photo and he was suspended for four months. And when he came back and said to me in the hall ‘thank you for a good holiday’.

Another girl’s room was going to be searched. The resident said she was getting dressed, without a bra. Joe wouldn’t leave the room. They called the manager. I think it’s unfair that Joe is working.

I hear he was suspended again.

Today there was a protest outside Holloway by Movement for Justice and Black Women Against Rape. They were protesting about Anna. I couldn’t go to the protest because I am in Yorkshire and I couldn’t get money to travel to London. I have no job and I have three children.

I think it is really good idea to protest for us. This organisation sees how immigration detention is so wrong. And how Anna is being punished and I think it’s not very good. There were many of us and Anna is in prison.

This Saturday there is going to be a protest outside of Yarl’s Wood. And I’ll be there as well.

Two days ago, I needed some hot water

Two days ago, I needed some hot water eight minutes before bang up time. I tried to get water for my flask. The officer took my flask and pushed me back. I said I know its late but I just need water. I apologised. He punched me in the heart and he closed the door and went. Then the security people came with cctv and ask what happened. I have a mark on my chest and my room mate was a witness. He wrote down a police case and I waited until 12 o’clock and I went to the nurse and I still had pain. The doctor did a check. The have a report in my file. I haven’t seen the officer since that. Nothing has happened since. I asked them yesterday what is going to happened and they said they are going to come and see you.

I am in the red book because I tried suicide two time and I had torture in Sri Lanka and they come and check me every hour in the night. I can’t go back to my country.

There was a fire in D wing

There was a fire in D wing of Harmondsworth Centre on the first floor at 1 o’clock last night. The fire alarm went off and we waited for about 10 minutes because there are checks all the time. The officers came and said Ouside go outside.  After that we all went outside around 150 people. There was one person injured and is in health care now.

It’s not safe in here because there is only one exit. There are no windows or other doors so everyone was going through same door. Some were going fast and some were going slowly.

We waited outside for two hours and then went to the dining hall and then we went back inside the centre to our rooms. One room was badly damaged but the whole building smelled of smoke.

Suddenly I saw everybody came outside and a fire alarm came up

I’m in the wing opposite. Suddenly I saw everybody came outside and a fire alarm came up after midnight last night. Everyone came outside and one guy was lying on a wooden chair. He was with two people, I think his friends. There were more than a hundred people in the yard. A bit later the officers came to give oxygen to the guy. After about two or three hours time an Ambulance came and after finally he was able to stand up. And he left with the ambulance people with the green colour uniform. After three hours time they managed to put everyone in their rooms. Only the next morning I knew it was a fire.

There was a fire in a room in Harmondsworth

There was a fire in a room in Harmondsworth about 12.45 last night. It was very dangerous. There is a guy in hospital.

The ground floor was full of smoke. It was dark smoke. We went outside to courtyard 4 and then to the main dining hall. All the people in D wing had to get out. After a couple of hours they went back to their rooms one by one. At 4o’clock in the morning floor 1 went back. Some people were taken to a different place without their stuff because there was too much water in their rooms. When we came back to our rooms the smell of smoke was full.

In the morning they brought us back to the room. There was lots of water. And the main manager of Harmondsworth came from his house. He said it was an accident. He did his job, I appreciate him. Immigration does very wrong with us but on the spot he did alright.

In the room where it started, there was a guy in the room who had told immigration, if you don’t have my travel documents release me or send me back. He’s been here 3 months. He was alone in the room, he has two other room mates but he was alone.

It’s very hard because the windows don’t open so if there is a fire and someone is in their room then they will die. There is no window. My friend was coughing.

Let’s see, when they investigate it.

We were shouting with the people outside

People are protesting outside for us. They know about the inside conditions – that people are not criminals. Everyone is here is according to law and the judge and the immigration officers are making conspiracy. And most people they are refusing. You don’t exist from here. Twitter, youtube, most of the sites are blocked from here.

We want to respond to the protest. We want to join the protests. So people were outside for 15 minutes in the yard. We were shouting with the people outside. We were clapping and shouting “freedom, freedom”. And then the officers come and say they have to come inside otherwise the big security officers would come to force us. So everyone moved inside.

The officers find everyone who is shouting and active inside. They take them one by one and pressing them. And tell them if you do this your case will be damaged. So be quiet, be relaxed. So they are individually pressing people. If they come to a group they shout but they speak individually. So nobody can speak loud. Because everyone wants to speak.

The legal aid solicitors are not doing well. I’ve been trying to call my solicitor for nearly 25 days and I haven’t been able to speak to her. She has been paid by the government to fight my case but she hasn’t done anything for me. She just makes paper work and finishes. It’s not fair, inside immigration can do anything in that time. It’s not fair because we are in a prison. She has to come to us and listen to us.

they came back wearing helmets and shields

There is one of the ladies that has a ticket and they wanted to take her to the airport yesterday from Yarl’s Wood. The day before they put a fresh claim and she got a lawyer through helen bamber and that meant she could put in a judicial review to stop the flight. They came for her but she wasn’t in her room, she was in another room and a lot of girls were there. There were about 8 of them. They were trying to protect her there because they wanted to take her by force. The officers went and reinforced themselves and they came back wearing helmets and shields. They tied them up with handcuffs and took them to kingfisher [segregation unit]. About three officers per one detainee. They shut all the doors so that no one could see them. They lady was taken to the airport but the ticket was cancelled on the way so they brought her back and put her in Kingfisher as well. She says that they twisted her head and that she has never experienced anything like that in her whole life, it was so traumatising. The officers packed all their stuff and when I spoke to them they said they were being taken to prison. So at the moment we don’t know what’s happened.