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.

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