We all have one thing in common, that the Home Office is refusing everything. You give information they refuse it, you put in a judicial review they refuse it, you give them application and before you know if it’s refused and they give you ticket for deportation. They really didn’t have time to read it and consider the application. People are being deported back to counties where they have fled, from Afghanistan, from Pakistan wherever they have come from and are being sent back there. LGBT people it’s so hard when you don’t want people to know about your sexuality. You are cornered in a box and you can’t come out and be free.
For the fear, that you run away from in your country, is the same fear you face in the UK. It’s really biased, and for some ladies they have been in detention for over a year. The problem is not even one months, two months, it’s the uncertainty of tomorrow. You don’t know what tomorrow holds or what is going to happen to you.
Before you know it they are rounding people up in the middle of the night, at 11 at midnight, at two o’clock in the morning and the next day you don’t see them. They lock them up in offices and then you find out they are deported. Someone had an appeal coming up in a few months but she was deported. This is not okay. A lot of people cannot speak English so how can they understand their cases.
Even in healthcare, these people aren’t listened to because they can’t explain their ailment, they nurse says come back with someone who can interpret. The healthcare itself needs a whole reshuffle, we need trained nurses and doctors. You can’t tell me this person is going to know if I’m ill, when that person is in the library, in the shop and also in the healthcare centre. They prescribe paracetamol so the doctor can see you are taking medication and then maybe he will prescribe you what you need. All I get is paracetamol and ibuprofen, and then if I take that every day the doctor can see I’m not well and then he will give me the medication I need. They need to see you bleeding. Some of us are mothers, we need to be taken care of.
It’s just too much, some of us were born here but because their parents didn’t do the right paperwork, they’re in detention and It’s not their fault. They cannot go back to a country they’ve never been to. Some people have been here since they were 8 and now they’re in detention, they’ve been here as long as they remember, they don’t have travel documents so they can’t go back. To be deported to places you don’t have any memory of.
There are women here who are old, between 50 to 69, why do these women need to be deported? How much taxes are you going to spend detaining and deporting an old woman.
The home office needs to listen, be realistic and say, ok this woman came here when they were really young, how can they go home. Imagine if it was their daughter, who had been living her for 15 years, would they send them back to a country.
It’s really about the home office not listening. They have the articles about LGBT people being killed in these counties, and they still don’t believe that it is dangerous.
One of them has to be washed and dressed by a fellow detainee, she’s been here for months. She has British citizenship, she did something and now they want to deport her.
Where is the compassion, where is the forgiveness?
Why do they continue to punish people for something they did, when they serve time in prison and repent. They should be forgiven. These people have lived tough lives, victims of torture, of rape, hard lives. When you sit down and hear their stories, how can you send them back to places they’ve never been.
To really get to a place where someone can help you, you have to get to a mental health personnel, and even then they say, oh you are only saying that so you can stay in this country.
When you have a migraine, a stomach ache, the doctor says how can this be, you are just saying it.
It has been ok, they are waiting to see if we do anything violent, but there will be no violence, no abuse, we just want to be silent, calm and respectful. There are police in there, and they are just watching people and watching people. Their eyes are on us. But we believe our voices are going to be heard. We’re going to continue until something is done, until we feel like
They are underestimating our hunger strike. They think we all went to the shop before the strike and that we are eating. And they tell one visitor today that they believe we are eating in our rooms. They don’t believe us, they think we are joking.
It’s just very sad, they are going into people’s rooms doing random searches. Search your knickers, pull off your underwear and inspecting every corner of it. You think why are you touching my underwear for crying out loud. When you ask they say it’s one of those random checks.
You can’t even trust the people who are looking after you. They say if you need anything come to us, but they can’t explain to us the things they do so how can we trust them. They searched two of the women who are striking.
I just pray the something changes, and that our energy shall not go to waste. Something really needs to be done. Sooner or later people are so depressed, they start cutting themselves, they are getting suicidal, this is not okay. And then when the officers know about this they start checking on you every hour.
They should be asking why are these women, who have children and families, want to take their own lives.
Separation from our children is killing us, I haven’t spoken to my daughter in 5 months. She’s going to make 5 in May, she’s probably moved on, she must think who is this mother I don’t remember. My friends printed out pictures and send them to me. I can’t even print one picture of my child, they say you have to print educational, legal, I can’t even print one picture of my loved ones.
I pray and I hope and I have the faith. Until I see her and I see her and I say hey, don’t call someone else mummy!
I was going to teach a new song in choir, so I go to photocopy the words. One officer he asked what are you photocopying, no one has ever asked me before, what I am photocopying, nobody cares. He says is that for the thing you’re doing, all those demands and stuff. I said I don’t know what you’re talking about. It was just the words for a song.
We are keeping on strong, it’s hard but we have to be strong. We are fighting for the voiceless. I wouldn’t want anyone else to experience this, even my worst enemy.
We pray in this strike that we are accompanied by prayer, hear our cries and make a change for us.