We have friends in Brook House, they are preparing them to go on the flight tonight but they don’t know what time or from where. No one has said anything to anyone Colnbrook. We heard from someone in Brook House. They are taking us, the flight is tonight.
They are forcing us. On Tuesday the guy had me by my neck, pushing me pushing me. They took us at night, we have no idea where they re taking us. We were all terrified. Even if you want to go to the toilet on the coach someone goes with you. You spend your pennies and the guy can see your pennies. We are not children, we are not animals.
For me they didn’t even give me removal directions. No official removal directions – we got the 10 days notice. I put in a Judicial Review to cancel my ticket but I’ve been told they can’t cancel the flight without removal directions.
The Home Offce said i have no grounds to remain in UK. I have fiancé, we have been together for three years and I am a father to a child. I was released on the fact there is a child involved. The Home Office don’t care. The Home Office want to overlook this. I haven’t done anything wrong. Some of us have wives here, have children. We don’t want to leave our loved ones.
Last week this guy said he wouldn’t go. Two commanders came, one commander used his elbow in the guys back and he fell to the floor. They other put something in his arm. They came at night and they took him. They took him back to his country. He was shouting shouting and because of the injection he went unconscious and they took him like that. Why would you be wearing masks? They were wearing masks so you didn’t know who they were.
Write it down – I am telling the truth. They don’t want the world to hear it thats why they are doing it in secret. We need you to do something today as well. Some of us are not ready to go. We have wives here, we have children.
You guys outside need to do something for us, you need to help us.
Its about racism in detention centres. Im being bullied, its racial discrimination here. They are picking on me all the time. Last week I didn’t go for my medications, only the sleeping one because they are bullying me. They pick on me for anything I do at the moment. I don’t know what they are writing in my file. I was really broken down by it, I just stay in my room now to keep out of the way. I put in a complaint and I haven’t heard anything. Its still going, it hasn’t stop. I’ve been a victim of torture and I’ve been a victim of abuse by the Serco staff. I wore a robe in the laundry and they told me I was wearing a robe and walking about and I wasn’t. It was the morning and it’s not unusual to wear a robe in the laundry. The other girls they wear their nighties and go everywhere and no-one says anything to them.
I’m being victimised because I have reported the staff for their behaviour to the other girls. Its racialised and its because I’m a woman. I’m being punished. Its OK for them to abuse you instead of protect you.
I thought being in **** you get tortured and then being here you don’t get tortured. My human rights are being violated. Being in the detention centre you get tortured 24/7.
In August I was taken back to Yarl’s Wood when I went to report. Why they take me back I don’t know. My passport was due to expire in a week and I saw a ticket for a few days time because they were trying to rush me through. I’ve been living in this country for 20 years. I have 8 grandchildren and 4 children in this country.
Just after I finished visiting with my son they said they come to take me to isolation. I told them i am not going. They called security. Four big men came and manhandled me and put cuffs on me and slammed me on the floor. I am 52 years old, I had a heart attack last year, I have many sicknesses. I am a victim of torture. All this reminds me and brings back the memories of torture. One of the big men put his foot or his his big hand on my head to keep it down. They took me to Kingfisher which is the isolation. They throw me on the floor there, the floor is really dirty.
I was so traumatised I wanted to die. I took some tablets. On the way airport i told the officers I had taken tablets and took me to hospital and had to flush my stomach. That flight was canceled because they tried to rush it through. So they took me back to Yarl’s Wood.
Whenever I see the guards I am afraid. I lock my room now. I never used to do that. I run away when i see the guards.
This is the life in Yarl’s Wood.
On Saturday they locked us all up. We just wanted to see the people who were here for us and we couldn’t. All the women were really upset. We didn’t know this could happen in a country where I am supposed to be safe. You expect this to happen in Africa but not in Britain. So we are not eating, but we are weak.
This is like Guantanamo Bay. Really.
We are walking around like we are mad. We are not like this.
The guards don’t respect the women at all. Not the way they treat us here.
We are not talking to them. We are just staying in our rooms or move away when they try talk to us.
They are turning a blind eye to why we are on hunger strike. They just want us to eat, not even eat just they need your finger to scan so they count us for the dinner. They don’t care if we eat but they are loosing money. If it doesn’t go their way they go against us. They are not happy. When the food is not eaten they are loosing. So they just want your finger so they can say you have eaten. They do not care about our well being here. Even if you want to buy things from the shops you have to use the biometrics with your hands.
They said I am not eating so they won’t give me my medication.
They said it is from above, why they locked us up on Saturday. They haven’t explained it to us.
The night officer kicked the door, as if he was a wild animal to shut the door. It is so hot in here and we needed some air. I was in my room naked because it was so hot it was the only way to get some air. I was naked in my room and he came in and turned his body camera on. He is a male officer he shouldn’t even be here.
This is the 21st century and this is being done. You don’t treat any one like this. We have been working, paying taxes, contributed to the society. Why they have to bring mothers here, sisters, aunties. Our rights and our dignity are being taken away from us. They say they are security and are here to protect us but they are not protecting us. They are abusing us.
We are striking because of the way we are being treated here.
We have put in a complaint and people have signed it and we were planning on doing a hunger strike already from Monday but we brought it forward because of what happen on Saturday.
They say why do people do the protests outside when nothing has been happening. No one is released and nothing changes. If they really think that why did they lock us up. What is your fear? People come and stand outside in the rain and travel from all over the country to support us we need to show our support. If they really think that why do they put more officers on? Why are they so afraid?
We have decided to go on hunger strike. It was a last minute thing because of what they have done to us. They have locked us up. In all the units we are on hunger strike. We are not sure how long for. If we have to go tomorrow we will as well. We are entitled to do a peaceful demonstration. It is our right, it is our freedom of speech.
From 1:30 when the protestors are coming up. They locked us up they up and they didn’t want us to shout out to the protestors through the window. We are locked up already in this centre and they lock us up again inside. They didn’t want us to shout out – we are on the other side of the building from the protestors. They lock us in Crane. The women in Dove are locked in Dove. Avocet as well. We all have to stay in our units. This is the first time they have done this.
Why are they frightened if they think they have nothing to hide? Why are they panicking like that?
There are so many officers, some of them area between the units, some are in the corridors, monitors and officers to keep an eye that you don’t even shout and you don’t even do anything. They have never done this before.
We want to appreciate the people to show us support but we were locked up. We are being treated like objects and not human being.
We will know what the outcome is today and see if we have to go tomorrow.
We ask them why did they lock us up. It is our freedom of speech. it is our right. We want an answer.
We would like to see an end to indefinite detention.
Two Wednesdays ago they said, ‘Someone is here to take you’. I asked ‘Who? No one is supposed to be taking me.’ There were two people to take me to a flight. I didn’t know anything about this and I refused to go. The next day my caseworker put through for a temporary release.
One minute they send officers to put me on a plane, the next minute my caseworker is applying for temporary release. None knows whats going on here.
It is really really a lot to bare, being in detention. My partner and my kids are wasting away. My boy, he is two years old, if i don’t speak to him he can’t sleep. He wakes up screaming in the night. I speak to hm all the time, he wakes up in the morning and he wants to speak to me straight away. My daughter is bigger – she has decided she doesn’t want to see me in here again. She said if I don’t get released soon she is going to run away. My boy comes, and he is happy when he is here but when they go he is crying. Both he and my partner broke down last time they were leaving here. They just lock you up in here the pretend like you don’t exist.
The original application that they detained me for, I sent them last week and they said there wasn’t payment for it. But i know there was money for it if they tried. My solicitor said this is just what they do. They don’t care, the only objective is get you out the country. I’ve seen what they do to people to get them out of here. Three, four officers bust into your room early in the morning and force you out on to a plane.
I haven’t been in my home country for 19 years. I haven’t any family there. My family is here. Why they want to send me back there? I’ve been in this country 19 years, I don’t have a criminal record in this country. I stopped working cos if i worked they said it would be a criminal offence so i’ve been staying indoors and looking after my kids. Everything they say i’ve been doing to play by the rules.
The home office don’t realise what they are doing to people. It is really unfair. Really really unfair.
They don’t give you a ticket, they give you a window of time. They say, ‘You will go within these three days, or five days.’ They changed this about a month ago. Why is this? Because we would call our solicitors straight away and stop the flight. As I am talking there is a woman next door who is supposed to be taken to the airport today, deported to Pakistan. There were supposed to be 15 women deported yesterday, to Nigeria. There was a flight stop about two months ago, people refused to go. We grouped up for three days in one room, refused to eat and everything, and the charter flight didn’t happen. So now they takes one by one into isolation so we can’t be in solidarity and stop the flight together. The bus comes, the bus is called ‘THE JOURNEY BEGINS HERE’. That is the name of bus that takes the women. This bus took the women to Stansted Airport for a charter flight to go to Nigeria and Ghana. We really fear for our safety here. Our experiences here leave us with depression, sleep disruption and mental health. We are like zombies.
It really reminds us of the history you read about slaves. When they used to take people and put them in the ships, to take them and go and sell them. Now, they are doing this here. Yarls Wood is a slave ship. They take you from here and put you on a charter flight. The G4S, the owners of this place, they get a lot of money when they deport people out of the country. There was a woman here who wanted to go, her daughter bought her a ticket to leave but they didn’t like this because they don’t get all the money from it. They took their time to let her go, but when they want to deport you they move quickly, because they get money from it.
When you look in Yarls Wood there is no white person in here, we are all Indian, Chinese and African. It is racism. They don’t want any people of colour in this country. There are white Zimbabweans who are claiming asylum but they can do it outside. We are treated as animals. One officer said to us they get £300 a week for each of us.
The people in the Mediterranean, we are like this. This is our ship, we are drowning. We don’t have life jackets, we need lifejackets. Our life jackets are you people out there. Please help us.
I have been in England 20 years, I paid my taxes, paid my NI. My back is hurt from lifting older people, working with disabled children. I worked with all my heart. There is one woman here who is 87 years old. An Indian woman. Would you do this to your Grandmother? She cant even walk. If there was a Yarls Wood in Africa it would be all over the news. But it is happening in England and so nobody knows about it. The laws in England remain the most barbaric in the EU.
Out there they don’t know about people in here. We left our family outside. Our children are outside, our husbands are outside. The young girls here just got married and they left their husbands outside. They are breaking up families.
It is like we are in prison, these women have never done anything wrong. We left torture, we ran from rape. Then you think you are running away England where you can be safe.
We really need help in here. this places needs to be shut down. They are depriving us of our liberty. We came to England to be safe. Hearing that if you come to England you will be safe. You are running away from murders and torture, some people have had all their families murdered.
We are not terrorists. We are not harming anyone. There are people who have been killing people who are given bail. We haven’t hurt anyone. They lie, they say you are a threat to society. I am not a killer. Where are we to turn to for help? The whole world needs to know. Tell the BBC. They call it ‘Notorious Yarls Wood’, and it is notorious.
Please help us, they are just taking us and throwing us in the planes.
See last week he smashed one of the classrooms, the person who tried to kill himself today. In the ESOL class he smashed the class up last week.
You know the funny thing is there should always be officers here – there should always be an officer at the desk on the first floor, and on the ground floor where we have breakfast. There should be someone there too. If they were in their posts they would have seen the man, they would have seen him hanging there.
They don’t even say thank you. The detainees, we saved his life. The officers, they show no remorse.
The manager of activities just saw the camera footage and she was surprised he didn’t break his neck. Thats when she said thank you – you’ve done a good job. She said he was the same person that smashed up the classroom last week.
None of them care what happened. They haven’t asked us any questions about it. No questions asked.
I hope people find out what is going on in here you know. The tax payers need to know what is happening in these detention centres. It is so bad.
Today was crazy. Really crazy you know. This man he jumped from the second floor trying to hang himself. It was inside the building in the landing. There were no officers on the scene.
This is what happened. I went inside my room to brush my teeth and when I came out he had put the sheet around the metal bed frame and around his neck, and jumped. We pressed the alarm bell three times but nothing happened. They didn’t come for like 20 minutes half an hour. Only one officer ran the others walked like it was normal and they were smiling. They were smiling and they joked about it after.
The bell didn’t go off. The bell should be there for anyone to press if they need it but it didn’t go off. This guy would be dead if it wasn’t for the detainees. The staff weren’t even there. When the police came they said they didn’t need to talk to us, to ask us questions but we were the only ones around there – the officers weren’t there.
You see the guy who did that he was walking around this morning and he was acting strange. If the staff saw him they would know something was wrong but they were in their office having cups of tea. They should be walking around every morning seeing how everyone is but they are always in the office having tea.
We have cameras in here. He had bedding wrapped round his arm from 8 o’clock in the morning. If I saw someone walking with bedding first thing in the morning I would know something was wrong. The cameras are suppose to keep us safe so the officers can respond quickly. He walked passed many cameras. But they didn’t clock anything. I see him every day I knew something was wrong but I’ve never seen anything like this before. I didn’t know he would do that. I ran out straight away and pulled the bed sheet up but then i realised i was making it worse – I was helping him die so I let it go. I didn’t know what to do. Someone else came straight away and knew what to do, he must have seen this before. He lay on the ground and held his hand to hold him up. We tried to undo the knot but it was hard to do so other people were lifting up his feet from the bottom and from the top people were trying to undo the knot. He would be dead if it wasn’t for the other detainees.
He feels like he fails something but no one should feel like that. We should be looked after by the staff and the home office but you don’t get that in here. He didn’t say anything was wrong. I never saw him speak to anyone in this place. We have to keep ourselves occupied to cope with this place, but you have to do your own thing.
This place is really horrible. They don’t treat you like a human being, they treat you like an animal, like a foreigner. I’ve been in two other detention centres but this is the worst. The hygiene, the food everything. It is just the way the place is. You can not trust the staff. You just can’t. To them its like ‘immigrants, immigrants’. In other removal centres you have a much better relationship with the staff. If you have a problem you can speak with them but here you can’t. You can only talk to your friends but your friends have their own problems you know. The staff they do they get trained to deal with stuff in here, but they don’t do anything. You never see the staff, the sit at their desks all day having cups of teas. You ask for something and it takes a week to get done. You can’t trust people like that.
They don’t care. If one person dies its a number, they just put a number down. When people get deported they are happy and say ‘one person down, one less person to stress about’.
The police just stood in the place where the guy tried to commit suicide for 20 minutes. They should check the cameras, they should take the statements. They didn’t take any of our statements. They should take statements from the people that saw what happened to see what happened. But they said they didn’t need to. Then they left.
The fire alarm bell doesn’t work. The question everyone should be asking is why that wasn’t working. Everywhere you go the fire alarm should be working. If there was a fire what would you do. If the officers didn’t hear all the screaming they wouldn’t have come. Only once I have heard it working. Lets say a fire happened, or a riot. They are over the other side having cups of tea and laughing. In prison the officers walk around and check. This place is the worst place I have ever been. They feed you when you are supposed to be fed and that is it. You do your own life. You have to cope.
They’ve taken him off to hospital. I don’t know where. We won’t hear anything about the man. Depends who is in the same unit but the staff won’t tell us. We need to get answers, we all saw it. ‘We can’t tell you, its confidential’ they say. But we need to know he is OK so we feel OK. The only way we find out is through the other detainees. ‘He is fine, he is doing good, don’t worry…’ thats all we want to know.