Britain’s disgrace- IRC Morton Hall

I am writing this letter about the trauma being inflicted on ‘inmates’ at this so called detention centre.

[My friend] is now in the CSU aka the block (isolation unit) simply because he dare express an opinion about what he witnessed. An incident in which he perceived that officers had used excessive force on another detainee. In another incident, an officer replied “I don’t care” after being questioned about what was going on with a detainee who had died in an apparent suicide.
Most residents believe that the centre is guilty of this detainee’s death. If there is any justice, then they should, at least, be facing charges of culpable homicide. It was very clear that this detainee was suffering from some kind of mental health issues and he should never have been in the centre in the first place. Also the doors are locked between the 20:30hrs to 08:00hrs in the unit where this suicide occurred. Officers only check on detainees twice during the night at 23:00hrs and 06:00hrs.
In another suicide attempt, the detainee was saved by another detainee. as his unit is the side of the centre where doors are not locked therefore other detainees can look out for those detainees who are vulnerable. We would be talking, yet again, about another detainees death if not for the timely intervention by a fellow resident who managed to be going past his door and saw him hanging, have dead and raised the alarm. With the kind of Judges at these First tier tribunals, I am not surprised that some people think the only way out of this place is suicide. The first tier tribunal(Immigration & Asylum chamber) is not fit for purpose.
I do not believe that a person should be forcefully removed and placed in isolation for having an opinion. I believe he was injured in the process and yet he has not received proper medical care. The man was denied fresh clothes and shower on his first day in isolation. he has not eaten for the past couple of days due to a lack of trust and his belief that these officers are so vindictive they might probably spit in his food before giving it to him. Or even worse.
There is no accountability and that only fuels these officers’ belief that they can do anything and get away with it. All our complaints seems to fall on deaf ears.

I came to this country 15 years ago. I have 2 children here.

I came to this country 15 years ago. I have 2 children here. I had just been to visit my family in Brazil and on my way back I was detained in Pembroke for one week, and then moved here, to Yarl’s Wood.

In here you have to stay in one room. You can only go out to eat, which is twice a day. You can’t go out or speak on the phone properly as people are always listening. Plenty of the girls here do not speak to their family and cannot afford to buy food.

You can’t have family visit because for them to come here you have to make an appointment and for some this is very difficult. And there is no way for you to see your child.

Some girls are here for 2 years and don’t move. Only to eat. 4 girls here have mental conditions.

Please help these people.

It is horrible here.

Some don’t speak very good English. People search your bag when you arrive. You can bring only pants, no clothes here.

It is like a prison.

The food here is horrible. No dogs would eat it.

It’s very cold here.

There is one room for two girls. Plus, some girls have bad health. No one comes to help them as they can’t speak English.

Some girls don’t have money to eat, and they aren’t able to get in touch with family. Some girls here don’t know how to get a solicitor and don’t have money so can’t access help.

We are being controlled by officers for 24 hours. Controlled. Everything is controlled.

I was married here under British law, why are you pushing me back to my country?

I can stay here because my husband is British and I fulfil all the requirements. I did one year before and we did everything. As an attendant I did one year, and then they refused me.

When I was in appeal they tried to remove me. I said that my appeal was still pending. They said they couldn’t find anything about my husband. They said I wasn’t living with my husband. Said I wasn’t compliant.

But how can they know? How can they say I’m not living with my husband?

I gave proof of ID, proof of address, but still they did not believe me.

Despite everything they have called me non-compliant. I have 8-10 emails which I sent and the Home Office sent me. I have evidence that I have complied. I have responded to everything.

I did comply and I am still living with my husband, but they said I wasn’t and that I was non-compliant.

On the 9th October 2017 they refused me. It took them one year to make this decision.

On the 17th October 2017 they took me and detained me. Gave me a ticket. “You aren’t supposed to be here”. Said you must go back to your country.

I called my husband and lawyer crying. I was in Colnbrook.

They didn’t give me an appeal right. They wanted to deport me and for me to appeal from my country. But I want to fight from here. I have the proof here. How can I fight from there?

I was married here under British law, why are you pushing me back to my country? My husband is here. I want to be here.

My judicial review is in Court, I’m not sure how long they will keep me here.

I have applied for bail.

I fulfil everything, the requirements, but still they are saying no, I must return to my country.

I was out when they came for me at my husband’s.

It’s really unlawful what they are doing.

Inside the detention centre you don’t feel you have any rights

Inside the detention centre you don’t feel you have any rights. They keep telling us we need to go back to our country. Everyone needs to be aware of this because they detain people unlawfully – maybe some people are detained for some reason like crime – but I was reporting for 2 years regularly but they still detained me. What’s the point of that? I was applying for a visa, paying the money. I try to see a doctor and they tell me I’m not entitled to see a doctor! There are people struggling health issues. They tell us that we are just pretending to be ill, why would we do that? In this country I believe that everyone is entitled to see a doctor, especially if the state is detaining you.

I was here in this country for 9 years, and then this ruined everything. I can’t socialise and do anything.

I agree with every single condition that they offer for my visa application but then they still detain me.

I have been here for 4 months, some people for 6 months. Of course some people get let out after a few weeks but then they come back again. If you want to bring them again here then why give them bail and then bring them back.

I wish when I get out and I get a good job that I will be able to do something about this because it is wrong.

Detained Voices facilitation collective Statement concerning accounts of abuse in Movement for Justice

The collective that facilitate the detained voices blog would like to extend our solidarity with those who have published testimonies that describe abuse within Movement for Justice. We have been shocked and disappointed at the level of denial in the MFJ leadership and at their concern to intimidate survivors of abuse and those working to support them rather than respond openly and constructively.

In response, Detained Voices will not work with the Movement For Justice leadership.

Testimony is an important starting point to expose the reality of detention and hold accountable the state and its violence. It is important that we build movements that are themselves accountable so that we do not recreate the patterns of violence that we want to end.

If anyone wants to come forward to share testimony about the misuse of power within the anti-detention movement, the Detained Voices blog will provide a platform for statements.

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