Yarl’s Wood Detainee, Korcari, gives an account of detention conditions, protests, and the escape attempt.
There have been a couple of protests in Yarl’s Wood because people have been here for months and months. People are given them a hard time so that they don’t think about coming here again. I think it’s a form of torture – it’s a mode of torture. To keep you for years in detention then deport them – to waste their time.
I have experienced unlawful things – I’ve not been removed and not been released. My solicitor is challenging them now for unlawful detention. It’s been going for 6 months. The officers here have been provoking my temper, I’ve been threatened by members of staff to see how I’m going to react – so they can punish me. For example, when I was not saying anything, an officer suddenly said ‘stop threatening me’ and he turned on the panic alarm and other officers came and took me to the block – solitary confinement. And then after a four hours they take me out and say it’s a mistake. They playing psychological games with us. Another time I tried to inform them about a protest that was happening – and then they spread the rumour amongst the residence that I was a snitch – I tried to help them but they used it against me.
Yesterday people were united because they have been holding people for 6 months, 12 months, 9 months. And then deporting them. They say why are they holding people for so long. They got frustrated and they wanted to be released. There were more people this time – half of detention was protesting. And some of them managed to escape the centre. They did it in the gym, they took the equipment, and they broke the doors. There are helicopters and police all over the place. They caught half of them and half of them managed to escape.
I feel good for the people who were able to escape. They are free now. God bless them – I wish they never caught them. Because to be an immigrant is not a crime. All humans are the same, we are all meant to be on this planet. We should not be discriminated against. No human is illegal – we are all meant to live in this planet. We are humans. We are with blood and with heart, we are the same as them. This is very horrible. Everyone deserves a chance – why are you keeping us in detention.
Now they are locking up the place. We’re are all in our rooms. Until they fix the doors everyone is locked in. So we are forced to stay in our rooms like animals. Even in prison you have association. Here right now we don’t get out.
I would like people to stand up for immigrants because we are the same as them. We are not different. We are from other countries but we are not aliens. We should not be detained and we should experience what they are doing to us.