They call it ‘Notorious Yarls Wood’, and it is notorious.

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.

The detainees, we saved his life.

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.

This man he jumped from the second floor trying to hang himself

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. 

They deny everything to the detainees here

They deny everything to the detainees here. There was one officer from Colnbrook who now became the manager of all the officers – he moved next door to Hammondsworth. There isn’t any money and there isn’t enough officers so he makes them move between Harmondsworth and Colnbrook. They are supposed to stay in one wing but they jump between – wing to wing and between centres. Half day here, half day there. The officers he have no idea what he doing or know the detainees properly. Because the officer is stress he taking it out on the detainees. 

Last month three Albanians escaped from here. There aren’t enough officers. They have no control over nothing. Since then they made the fences higher, and they put more cameras. 

I say to them ‘I need some help’, when they lock me behind the door but they say they have to lock the door because they don’t have enough officers. They ask me to help them and stop but i have panic attacks and seizures and they lock the door on me because they don’t have enough officers. I say they need to help me not me help them.

I have pneumonia before in 2011. I have been saying please fix the air conditioning. I have seen about six people working on the air condition but in some room its like freezer. I put toothpaste around the machine in my room to stop the air coming out because 3-5 in the morning it is like a freezer in here. In the day time its not working I can’t breath I use the fan. I have two inhalers since the pneumonia I got here before. I didn’t have asthma before I came here, no one in my family had has it.

I cost too much money since being in health care. Because I cost them more money every three – four day they ask me when I am going, whats happening with my immigration – they want me to get out because i am costing them huge money. They want to know when I will leave or be deported. Just go out from the centre. 

Before, about 2009 – 11 above the visit room there were about 24 detainees. They are the ‘good behaved’ detainees and we had our doors open 24 hours. They change it now for women not for men.  We used to have the doors open. Because there are not enough officers they lock the door. In the hospital we don’t have the doors locked – we are ill why they lock the door?  When I go to hospital they put the hand cuffs on me. I’m disabled and on crutches. Am I a danger to the public or something – how am i going to run away on crutches?!

He hiding something, I gonna call BBC

What happened exactly, somebody told me they find [body] in the cell, ok, and I’ve been upstairs and in healthcare up to the door. An officer, I told him, can I tell you what happened? He said, no, I can’t tell you what happened exactly. And I want to find out, get some news. And my phone, I put BBC News.

Yes, a person inside the room died and three officers they didn’t let me go inside to see what happened, I wanted some information. They pushed me, took me out. They pushed me out… they took me to the block. Why he took me to the block? I am not violence I have not pushed anyone. I told him he hiding something, I gonna call BBC, I know you hiding for us, you want secret here coz everyone knows there lot of problem here. Lot of people in the block, some cut his head, some smash his face, too many problem here in the block. Some people have ticket, some people been here 3 years. It’s the worst centre here, Colnbrook.

They didn’t want to tell me what happened exactly and they took me to the block for nothing, I just wanted some information on what happened exactly. The block, they put me there for 2 days.

They put me in a different wing, they took me out from a very nice place, they put me in a shit place now. They put me in a shit place now, a dirty place. They don’t let me back, they don’t want me to get more information from inside the wing.

Why? Why? Why you put me different wing? For nothing, nothing. All night, block, all nothing, never eat last night, I’ve got mental health problem, I’ve got medication. I’ve been healthcare over 6 weeks.

I’m not very well, I’m shocked about what happened. I’m shocked, you know, I’m scared, someone died. You’ve got people worse here, people suicide here. I’ve been to the block, I’ve seen worse people, some people cutting their head, their body. It is murder here. I’m scared you know. I’m scared.

The officer he not happy when I talk to you.

It took him three weeks to get like this while he was here, and he died.

That guy he came about three weeks ago. He came and they put him straight in the health care centre. Room three. Since when he came the officers watch him for 24 hours a day, maybe because he said he was going to kill himself. When someone says they are going to kill himself they are watched the whole day, everywhere they go.

For the first week, week and a half he was fine. Then he was sleeping and snoring too much. He slept long hours. I believe the medication they gave him was not the right medication. Yesterday about 6:30 in the afternoon he came in from the yard, for the fresh air, with three officers and he was vomiting. The officer said he was an idiot. He was not an idiot, he was sick. Either from the medication or food poisoning. The officer said the nurse knows better. But the nurse didn’t know better.

The officer she denied him everything, all night. He died in her name and on her neck. I promise in the name of Allah he died in the hands of that woman. Mr ****** died because she refused to call the nurse again. The nurse only came twice. When she came out she said ‘don’t call me again’. The officers complied with that. 

In the medical centre there is a room for each person. He was in number three. The nurse and doctor here are denying everything. There was an officer watching him 24 hours. The doctor came for five minutes. ‘Hello, hello, hello’ to everyone and then he leave. At 6 o’clock Mr ****** had some medication. Went out into the yard and then he was vomiting. I believe that medication make him sick. He came back in and his snoring wasn’t right after that. I said to them to check him because he wasn’t sounding right and I thought he might have a heart attack or something. I was told to look after myself and not worry about anyone else. 

About 1 o’clock in the night I heard him screaming because he couldn’t breath. She said to him – the officer told him to stop panicking and go to sleep. How can he sleep when he is coughing and vomiting and he can’t breath? 

They say he killed himself. That is not right. I’ll tell you how. He had nothing in his room. He wasn’t allowed to move from his bed, get some water or go to the toilet without someone watching him. He had no razor. If he wanted to shave they give him an electric razor and anyway he didn’t shave the whole time he was here because he had a big beard.

He was vomiting because of food or medication. When he came to this centre he was fit. It took him three weeks to get like this while he was here, and he died. I saw his face it was all red and he couldn’t breath. Everyone is denying everything in here. 6:30 in the afternoon exactly till 4 o’clock in the morning till he died. 

6 o’clock the police come here in the morning. They open our door at 8 o’clock in the morning. In the morning they don’t want me to talk to the police and they take me out of the centre to outside and when they let me back at 12 noon they lock me in my room immediately so I can’t talk to the police. The doctor and the nurse was not allowed to come in to the centre. The police were taking photos of his room. They came at 6 in the morning and left at 2 in the afternoon. Thats when they opened the doors again and I saw them leave. 

The officers watching him, they changed every one hour. They moved between watching him and behind the desk.  

The officer, she said to someone in another room ‘I’m not going to give you anything. Im going to give you punishment.’ He is going to die soon, he will try kill himself, he gets a lot of punishment from her. I don’t hear his voice in the day, he is very quiet usually, only when she is here he screams and shouts all the time. She wants to give him hassle and he has cut himself too many times, all over his face. You wouldn’t recognise him from the person that came in. He is unwell and she makes him more unwell. Always screaming and shouting – he smashed the door on his hands and legs. She makes him crazy, more crazy. Officers get paid to look after us. They lock us behind the door like the devil and treat us so bad. Ive never seen this in my life. Me, I never ask her for anything because I know the result.  

I asked the officer how Mr ****** died and he said he killed himself. I asked how he killed himself when he is watched the whole time? He said he kept his pills and took them all at once. That’s not possible. We are given our pills by the nurse with a glass of water and they wait till we have swallowed them all. These nurses are really experienced, they know when you have pills still in your mouth. I have five pills and I was swallowing them with the water and one didn’t go down. The nurse, they waited there till the last one went down. It is like they are in your mouth – they know what is going on in there. Mr ****** couldn’t have kept all the pills. It was the pills that was making him sleep so much and snore like that. I am very sorry what happened to Mr ******. He was a very gentle man, really. 

URGENT – TODAY

URGENT – TODAY – 24 November 2015. Stop Charter Flight to Nigeria tonight. Demonstrate 1:00pm, Nigerian High Commission, 9 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5BX (near Trafalgar Square & Charing Cross Station). Stop Home Office plan to deport 2,900 Nigerians. End Nigerian Government’s collusion with mass deportations.