Brook House Protest: I’m still on a hunger strike, and I will continue the strike.

I’m from Yemen. I’ve seen war in all of its details, all of its destruction, death, repression, mines, death, everything. My uncle, friends, and relatives, died. I remember those who died, our most beloved. I lived war. I only left after I experienced it. We, young men, are a target. We were targeted by the Houthis because my relatives worked in hospitals and helped the injured. To this day every time I call my family or friends, I receive news that this or that friend died by stepping into a mine, or being hit by shells or missiles.

My whole neighborhood is destroyed. I lived the war in all of its details. When things went really bad, I tried to leave. I did not tell my family that I would leave the country, I only told them that I will go to a relatively safer city in Yemen. I borrowed money from this and that friend, then went to Mauritania. We walked by the border with Mali. We were caught by this gang, and they threatened to take our organs. We were stuck between smugglers and human traffickers. They threatened to take our organs or blackmail our families. My family did not know I left; that would’ve devastated them. We were able to get out of that, and we reached Algeria. We were sleeping in the desert cold; taken from one smuggler to another. From Ain Saleh, for a few months, to Ghardaia, where the Algerian army detained us for 15 days. They took everything from us, and deported us to the Niger desert. I still remember to this day, the soldier told me, “this is the road to Niger, this is the road to death.”

We were accompanied by Palestinians and others. We wandered from one region to another. And we were held in this room on the border with no toilet. We used plastic bags. We were there for a few weeks. Eventually we managed to enter Morocco, but we were caught and deported to Algeria, and they were going to deport us to Niger, but we escaped the Algerian army and returned, without any money. We slept on the streets. We tried to get to Spain, to Melilla. It took us 3 months to enter. After nearly 25 attempts, we did. We were beaten really badly. They treated us like slaves, not like refugees.

We entered Spain. They put us in a building with 600 people from all nationalities. I am short. I was subjected to beatings and sexual harassment. Whenever I tried to file a complaint to the Spanish guards, they would either laugh at me or would not understand what I said. It was 40 days in hell. I wished I could return to Yemen. Sometimes we washed the guards’ clothes so they wouldn’t beat us.

Then they transferred me somewhere else, because I complained a lot. I could barely walk 30 metres. Then they transported us to Valencia, and kicked us out into the streets. I spent three weeks on the streets, knocking the doors of one charitable society after another, but we were only met with rejection. The police treated me like a criminal, and used pepper spray on me, even though I’m a refugee. Even on the streets in Spain, I was sexually harassed. When I realised things are not going to work out in Spain, I decided to migrate, to Belgium.

I’ve seen people scattered on the streets in Belgium. We had our fingerprints taken in Spain, in Germany, and now we’re in Belgium, eating and sleeping on the streets, and being chased on the streets. I was going to request asylum in Belgium, but then I saw the situation of my peers, and some told me that they came over like I did, and were then thrown into the streets. Five years in war, and I thought I was brave among my family, but here I am being subjected to sexual harassment and the like. We moved to France. I contacted my family and told them I’m in France. I asked them for money so I can pay to the smuggler to enter Britain since there we would not face beatings and the like. From Dunkirk, which is filled with smugglers, we had difficulty, since we Arabs are hated by Kurdish smugglers, and so we faced difficulty.

We tried and tried. One day a smuggler told us if he sees us there again, he will kill us. We kept roaming France for a month. We reached Calais, and it’s filled with smugglers. I thought Europe would be a heaven. I developed a skin condition in Spain that they refused to provide treatment for.

The sea was my last hope. I thought to myself, if I don’t reach Britain, at least I will die in the sea, instead of returning to the streets of Europe. I was hoping that if I get to Britain, I will finally be able to live and start a life, and all the bitter days would be over; that it would be a watershed. I wrote my will and handed it to a friend, just in case, so he would tell my family, so they would forgive me. We were in the sea for eight hours. I felt regret. Why did I leave my family, why have them live in war on their own. I thought I’m selfish, because I left them. I should’ve continued to live with them. Not leave them and live on my own. Now when I call my family, they still struggle with what I used to struggle with. When I reached Britain, I thought I reached a safe harbour. You know, one would hope to die in his homeland, in his mother’s arms, to see his family and loved ones.

I reached Britain, and spent 4 months trying to build a new life, until that day. I had a GP. I explained to him my physical and mental health, and he provided me with care, until that day. We were in our place, I was happy, I was optimistic, and then all of a sudden, the police came over and took us. I asked them what crime did I commit, but they just took us to detention. They told me you have a fingerprint in Spain. I told the investigator, and the lawyer, if I was a refugee there why would they have me sleep on the streets? No matter what I said they would not believe. They just told me, ‘this is the law’.

I’m still on a hunger strike, and I will continue the strike. I told them that if I am to be deported to Spain, I will not be deported alive. I will not go back to a life of homelessness, to those who beat us and harassed us. You cannot know how I feel right now, since you’re not in my place. I’m only telling you a small portion of what happened. I can go on forever. I lost my family, my father, my mother, my friends, my city, and they’re all still in war. I thought that Europe would be a heaven on earth, that I will get to live and make something out of myself. Now, I think I lived like a king in my country. My last hope was Britain. I crossed the sea with my kafan on my hand, I either get to the shore or die. We faced gangs and threats, but Britain ruined everything. They want to get us back to point zero.

We’ve been here for two weeks. They lock us in our room from 9PM to 9AM. From day one I went on strike. Here, you’re subject to deportation at any moment. Every night, I can barely sleep. I’d wake up to every passing shadow, to every passing guard. Every time, I tell myself, “this is it”. I can’t even begin to describe it. If you look at my life, from beginning to end, you’d feel bad over all the time you lost, all the years gone. Five years lost to war, a year or so lost in Europe. I will not go back to live through that suffering again. My family calls me, and I tell them, “they put us in schools” and “I am now studying”. I don’t tell them that I am facing deportation. If we are deported, there is nothing but death. They think we came from a paradise. No, we came from the hell of war in Yemen, hell of displacement, hell of smuggling, and now they want to ruin everything.

You don’t even know how it’s like here with the guys and how we’re feeling. As soon as our room is closed, we’re tense and waiting. Where are we going to be deported to? Spain and the streets. To the starting point.

All that I experienced in the war in Yemen does not reach this level of suffering. And here we are waiting, for our execution. They tell us they’re just enforcing the law. I do not envy others, but if this is the law, why is it selectively enforced. I know others who had fingerprints elsewhere who were granted asylum. We are waiting for the 27 of August, the day we die. They either leave us here, or deport us. If I knew this was what I was going to face, I would’ve preferred to die in my homeland. At least there I’d see my family. I’m full of regret. I am selfish. I left my family. I would rather die close to my mother than on their streets. They sentenced us to death.

Brook House Protest: They told me “you have to go back where you came from”. In that moment I was broken down inside

This is my life story. Why I came out from Yemen when the civil war started.

I was leading a normal life. I was living in Yemen in the town called Sanaa. I was studying and working when the civil war started. I tried to stay there even though the civil war started. There was fighting and bombing and the Houthi fighters and the army fighters were there, and it was a hard time but still I tried to stay. Then I couldn’t stay there; me and my family moved away from Sanaa.

I went to a small town with my family. But the university was in Sanaa, not where I went. When I went to the small town the Houthi army was there. I managed to escape but they took my brother. I tried to hide then they got me and took me, and I was one month in jail because they seized the small town.

I was one month in jail, the Houthi army put me in jail for one month. They removed me because my brother got injured when they were bombarding. They let me out so I could see my brother. My brother was in a very bad condition; his legs were broken and everything. I took my brother out of the hospital and we went to the small town where my mother was and after 3 days we left. I went to another town and I got a passport and I left Yemen.

And then I went to Mauritania and from Mauritania I made my way to Europe. We kept walking. Walking with the trafficker and it’s all desert, we took cars and he blackmailed us. Then the trafficker met with another guy and the other guy took over.

This guy made us walk through the mountains. Then he showed us that he had a knife and guns and he asked us for money and mobiles. We gave him everything. Then we walked through the desert and I asked them where we are. They said it’s between Algeria and Niger. And then another trafficker took over and he put us in a truck, a big car where you put animals in. And then they took us to another place and another trafficker took over and we went to a place. During the time we were walking, we were abused, they were like hitting us and treating us badly.

We ended up in Morocco. And then another trafficker took over. And this trafficker just reassured us and said “I’m going to make you pass to Europe”. He took all the money but he wasn’t honest; he didn’t let us pass to Europe. We stopped there in Morocco. Approximately we stayed there for 2 weeks.

And then another trafficker came and one of the people said “don’t worry, we’ll help you leave”. They took us to Spain. When we reached Spain they asked us for money, and we said we don’t have money, they said “tell your parents to send you money”, but our parents are not working, we don’t have any connections.

When we said we don’t have money to give you they said “no problem, you can work with us now”. In this moment I thought: I need to run away. Because they are really bad people, they want us to work for them. They threatened to kill us, that’s why I realised I had to run away. 

I went to another town and I stayed homeless out on the road. I was searching for any refugee camp to help me and support me, just in terms of food and to continue living. I lived in that period on the road. It was really cold and I didn’t have my charger to charge my phone to connect with my people. It was a really tough time for me.

And then I met two guys, one from Yemen and one from Syria. They said to me “let’s go to somewhere where there is no war, where there is justice”. And so we went to some area but I don’t know the name of it. And then we decided to go to Britain. A trafficker said “I will take you to England”.

And then they took us to the sea and they said “you have to go”. I said “no, I’m scared, I don’t want to go across the sea”. There was a lot of people there from Iran and Kurdistan. He pointed a gun at me and said, “you have to leave now”. The guys there reassured me, they said, “don’t worry it’s only one hour and then you will be there, you will be safe”. The sea was really bad. I was so scared. But when I saw from a distance that we were close to Britain I was relieved a little bit when I saw the coast guard.


When we got there the guy took us to Coventry, and I stayed there for 3-4 months. I tried to forget everything I went through. I was thinking about my family. I tried to contact them and to see how my brother is doing. Then, when I was sleeping they opened the door and the police came to see me. He was talking to me but I wasn’t able to understand because everything was in English. I was so scared when he found me there, when he opened the door and he saw me.

I’m not a murderer, I’m just a normal guy. I just ran away from what I have experienced in a bad moment. Why are they treating me like this? They told me “come with me”. They told me “you have to go back where you came from”. In that moment I was broken down inside, I was feeling so bad.

And then they put me in a detention centre. They took the phone, they took everything. They gave me another SIM. But I’m not allowed to go out. Where shall I go if I go out? To the street? What shall I do?

I would rather die here than go back to where I came from.

I just want this country to hear us, because I’ve been in lots of danger. When I escaped from the desert and the mountains, I put my life under risk and I don’t want to go back. That’s all I have.

Brook House Protest: I am on hunger strike. I haven’t eaten since I enter here.

I have a deportation ticket on the 26th to Germany. I was rejected three times from the high court. I still have my paper from the high court saying I have been rejected, but because my fingerprint was taken in Germany they want to take me back. I have been in Brook House from the 14th of August. I came by boat from Calais. There is no country that has taken me as an asylum seeker. I have a fingerprint in Greece and in Germany so I am stuck. I am now in the Observation Room in Brook House, I am monitored by someone who is checking me every 15 minutes. This has been happening for three days. I am on hunger strike. I haven’t eaten since I enter here. Since 14th I take water only and now I don’t drink or take any food. I hope I will be released so I can start my life here. I just want the people to feel like what I have passed through. I don’t want anyone to have what I have experienced passing through this life. But if someone has, I swear they won’t even last one day with this life. I feel like when immigration detained me they sent me to my death. I want to change my solicitor, no one has helped me. No one has given me any hope until now. Every time I am always searching for solicitor.

I started my journey from Yemen to Malaysia, I was there for six years but I cannot have a good life in Malaysia. I don’t have the right to seek for asylum there. From Malaysia I moved to Iran. I was tortured in Iran. In Iran they have guns and took everything I have. When I arrived to Turkey I try five times to go to Greece. Five times. The Turkey border guards tried to drown me, five times, when I tried to cross by boat. On the sixth time I enter into Greece, I stay 1 year and 4 months. After I finish my paper in Greece, I went to Germany. I ask for asylum in Germany, they rejected me the first and the second time, on my third time, I went to the high court, but the judge rejected me also. I stayed for 7 months as a homeless in Belgium. In Belgium, the police always come to take our things, our clothes, and throw it, because I am sleeping in the street. The police they don’t let me sleep. I decided to move to Dunkirk, a city in France, there is a lot of gangs there, they have guns, they will kill anyone trying to go to these places, because they have occupied a lot of parking for the lorries that are crossing to the UK. They are smugglers, they are taking you places to try to go to UK. And then I went to Calais and I sit in the Jungle. I sit there for 4 months. I was trying to go to the UK but it didn’t work. The police in Calais, one day they wake you up and the next day they let you sleep, then wake you up, then let you sleep. Once they took our camp. The police they are always throwing tear gas. After 4 months I pull some money to enter the UK. In UK, I enter on _______, and then on the 14th of August I was detained.

Without simple people there is no world. The victim of war are only simple people, the victim of hunger are only simple people. The country is standing up by the simple people. And we are the simple people. We are the land, we are the planet. We just want some respect.

We are only just human. We are only plain. But in fact, it’s things killing things. The struggling over struggle.

And the stupid regulation over stupid regulations.

The purpose of our hunger strike is to reach our voice

We are in a very depressed situation. We are on hunger strike since 6 or 7 days. The purpose of our hunger strike is to reach our voice, but the staff in the detention centre are saying that even if you are on hunger strike your voice won’t reach. After visiting the mental and psychological doctor they sent reports to the home office, but they say you are not having any mental illness and accordingly they are refusing us. While most of the people here are suffering so many struggles during their journey to the UK, and this is not logical actually, that the home office are refusing the reports of the doctor.

I have not had an appointment with the doctor – it was supposed to be today but the interpreter was not available so they have postponed to this afternoon. When I reached the detention centre I told them I have sinus and colon problem and they hadn’t brought medicine, just yesterday they brought the medicine. And they told me I have to take the medicine with food and they told me I have to eat in order to take the medicine, but I am on hunger strike.

Even our voice was not accepted by the Home Office officer. We have conducted an interview with a Home Office officer in the detention centre and we explained to him the pain, the assaults, all the struggles during our stay in Europe. And they said this is not our business, this is not our issue and you need to discuss this with your solicitor, they are not bothered. And they need to hear our voice. I’m wondering why the Home Office did not hear our full story, our full suffering from the struggles and the pain that we thought and felt during our journey in France and Spain, and all the countries that we passed through.

They just met us very briefly in Dover and took a very quick screening, a very quick interview with us, and gave us a ticket. How come they are removing us? They need to hear our story.

When we tried to add a comment to our interview with the Home Office officer, they are not giving us any opportunity to do that. There are many attempted suicides from people inside the detention centre.

When I reached the detention centre I told them that I have a phobia of narrow places, and they have delayed my appointment so many times. Now my appointment was supposed to be in the morning and they have delayed it to the afternoon, and I’m afraid this is happening to so many people and I’m afraid that they are delaying the reports for the sake of removing me. I’m afraid that I am not fit to travel.

We need the people, the Home Office, to hear us, to hear our story. Yes, we have a fingerprint in Spain but the asylum system there is very poor. They have thrown us in the street. We were blackmailed from the human traffickers, we were assaulted by the police officers in Spain, we don’t want to go back because we were in a very difficult situation in Spain. It’s not a country that we are welcomed in. We are not able to live in a country that’s not protecting our human rights, we already fled from Yemen that has a lot of violations and war and its own struggle we are looking for a safe country that gives us new opportunities to live and gives us new life. This is not found in Spain. How come are we going back to Spain?

I came from Ecuador to Spain in transit. They forced me to fingerprint and they put me in detention for 9 days, although I told them I have a phobia for narrow places. They psychologically tortured me for 9 days and then threw me on the street.

After they released us from the detention centre and the airport we found ourselves on the street and we stayed 2 days in a shelter with no homes and no accommodation, until we found an Arabic man who took us temporarily in his home. And he told us to go to a person in Belgium who is welcoming us into his accommodation.

Most of the detainees inside the detention centre want the people to hear their stories, their struggles, and what they are suffering. We came to the UK because we believe the UK is the right country, where we can protect our human rights, and we are having a high expectation that the Uk government will consider our cases. After the struggles we faced in Spain we prefer to die in UK rather than going back. I told the Home Office that I’d prefer to die here rather than going to Spain again.

I fled Yemen because I was tortured by the Houithi regime. I was not able to complete my study. They fired me from the university and I was assaulted by this regime. We came from our country that is facing the most massive humanitarian crisis in modern history to find a safe place. I was not able to find it in Spain, the first country I went to and so I came to find it in the UK.

I’m looking for a new life. I’m looking to merge with the British community, serve the British community, be having a new life with new opportunities, reunion with my family.

Since we reached we felt that we are in our country. We are in safe hands, and we are ready to defend them, to defend England with ourselves. Our house is destroyed, we don’t have any things in Yemen so far. We lose our families, we lose our assets, we lose everything and we came here looking for new life and new opportunity.

Yemen is already in a crisis and the humanitarian situation is struggling. There is a lot of poverty, starvation, war violence. People are not able to find food, drink water, clean water, the diseases are everywhere; cholera, covid-19 and other new diseases. People cannot get a treatment; the health system totally collapsed, the country now is not any more a country. The people there are dying and nobody there is helping them.

The devastating outcomes of this war made many Yemenis flee to other countries and as a Yemeni refugee in the UK – I found its my dream to come here.

My mum and family are suffering from several diseases and they haven’t got any treatment so far.

The smugglers actually cheated me, I was supposed to travel to the UK but they sent me to Spain rather than going to the UK. The smuggler forced me to travel to Spain and there is no opportunities. In the beginning you know I was planning to go to the UK but the smuggler forced me to travel to Spain and I said if it is a safe country I don’t mind. I wanna start my life, my plan is to start a new life, a safe life.

But now I feel my future is black. Bad life then next it became good life, then bad life, until now it’s bad.

This is the second time I have been detained. I enter into this country on the _______ and since I enter, they took me to Dover for 2 days and then they moved me to Tinsley House. I stay there around 1 month and pandemic came, they release me by immigration there. And I move for several hotels. ______, then _____, then _____. Recently in ______. I received paper from the Home Office that I should go to Luna House in London. So when I go there, they detain me again in Brook House. Now they want to send me again to Spain after I sit here in this country for more than 5 months and 15 days until now. I stay in this country which mean this is the longest time I sit in European countries including UK. This is what is going on in UK, but if you want to know from where I grow up, where I born, I can give you details about.

Well I born in Yemen for two years and then my family decided that Yemen is not good for the normal life. They moved to Saudi Arabia to work and when I arrived 13 my dad is dead. And I’m the only boy for my mum. My mum she’s still in Saudi Arabia when I arrived 18, I went to Yemen to study as a doctor. I stay there for 1 year. That was in 2013 when I was 19. And during that time the Houthi movement is start. It’s the movement to occupation the city centre it’s Sanaa it’s the capital city. And there I was study there. They catch me near to my University, they understand that I have different accent, which belong to Saudi Arabia. They try to investigate about me and they know I’m from Yemen and they know that I have home in Sanaa.

They go to my home and take it and they want for good because I from, I came from Saudi Arabia. And they have a lot of information about their life, lifestyle, how they think, where is the important place, they want to, they were, they were just interested in military questions. So I arrived to that point that I should go back to Saudi Arabia to bring my mum they said we will stay in this home until you came. I run away from them. I run away from these people. I say a lot of things that… I’m from Yemen, but I never feel that I belong to a country. If you will go from Yemen, you will not believe what is going on. So I back to Saudi Arabia. In 2014 I found myself useless, until someone get me a van, I work illegal in the company… you know it’s called Creem, for transportation. I was working as assistant project manager and during that time, I can handle myself. I was having salary, I was having normal life. I was travelling, I was studying in University. I have a certificate from England, because this University they have a branch in Saudi Arabia. So when I graduate I find myself facing the authorisation system that belong to the new King, they want to employ many Saudi so I find myself I can’t work there and I can’t offer myself to pay for my ID because they are taking a lot of tests for the foreigner. I arrive to that point if I couldn’t find work, this is mean my visa would be expire so I would back to Yemen, I thought. And I don’t want that.

So in _________, I moved from Saudi Arabia to Mauritania, by airplane. And from Mauritania I cross to Mali, this is in Africa. When you move illegal there are many smugglers, they will transport you from place to another place. You will pay every time. And I find myself with a smuggler he said he will take us, 200 for everyone. And he appeared me if I don’t pay, he tortured us, I were with some of African people. He was raping some women and he was have gun and he said I just want 500 Dir and I will leave you. I stay with him for 8 days, some people they cannot pay, he sell them for other people, but I contact with my friend in Saudi Arabia, he is working in Unilever, he is from Palestine, I told him what’s my problem and he said, “okay I will pay 500”. After 8 days I find the hard time with him. I broke my nose, he put a knife in my chest and even he banged me in my left, my right hand in my shoulder with back of the gun. And when he understand that I will pay for him he to start to treat me nicely, until take he take his money, and he left me on the street, then I complete my way with the other smugglers. I enter into Algeria. For Mali into Algeria, and then I… it was 3 steps, because Algeria is a big place, and then I enter from Algeria to Morocco. From Morocco I was trying to go to Melilla by the door and the police from Morocco they threaten me also, one of them they slap me in my face because I was trying to enter to Spain, in Melilla. It’s part of Africa, if you don’t understand that, because people they don’t understand how can you go from Morocco to Spain by walk. Yes, there is a place belong to Spain. So when I find myself I cant go from the gate I decide to go by the sea… he insult my mum, he insult my mum and slap me. I don’t accept that but I say that I will never go through this door. I will try to go by sea again. And you know that they say, there is a lot of people are dying, one of my friend he is die from the sea on the 15th of September, his name is Hilal. The seas mean you will die or you will survive. That’s what’s going on.

I enter into a place in island that belongs to Spain military that is called “Chafaner”. And the military they let me stay for two days and after two days there is something that happen to me. There is a woman, from the military, she want me to clean my, she want me to clean that place that is provided to me, like a big room, and during that time she was monitoring me when I was in my room. She treat me bad you know like I’m shit you know. She broke my heart but after two days there is a, they call it in English, Red Cross, they bring a ship to take me. I was, we were two, me and one boy, he is also from Yemen. They took us to Melilla again. But this time I enter to Melilla by sea, by the help from the military. In Melilla I stay there for three months in a camp, and in this camp in Melilla there is a lot of thieves outside of the camp. So I fight one, four, five, six people, six boys, they are teenagers you know, but because they are teenagers, they are surviving by stealing people things. To be honest I fight with them, they don’t take anything but one of my hand, in the left hand there is one finger is still hurting, until now, it’s not moving smoothly, until now. So I said it’s okay, still in Africa, and when I go to Spain, these things will be different.

They move me to Cadiz, it’s like island, again. But this is not a problem, I find myself in a room with 6 people. All the people with me they are evicted asylum seeker but they have the right to stay for 3 months, but in my case, I will be accepted because I have a war in my country so I was not afraid about to be evicted to be honest. But there is also things happen because they are knowing each other, they are living each other. They always look at me with strange eyes and stole shoes from me and my headphones. And one day one of them he get angry and they banged me my head. It doesn’t hurt me actually but I said as much as I can I will not let this going on, so I took my right, I called the police, I speak with them in English, they bring one of the police officer, when they came, one of the boys he speak Spanish, he told them “there is nothing, don’t worry, there is no problem here”. So he lie just to close this case. And I speak with the police, I told them “listen he is threatening me, that he will broke my head until the blood is here. He said to me directly “no blood, no case”. I said “okay”. He said if he banged you with your head, you can go to the emergency too, we have people. So, I find myself the police is not standing with me and even the place that I’m living there is not good. Because it is easy to understand the asylum seeker, they have different rules there. You go with different organisation and you’re a victim. Maybe you will have a good organisation and maybe you will not.

I arrived to the point that I will not stay in that place in Cadiz. So I moved to Barcelona and in Barcelona, I go to the Red Cross and I told them I have the right to stay in Spain and I want home. They told me that I should to come in… I apply for them on the _________, they told me come in __________, so I should come to Barcelona for 3 months, see what’s going on, to can provide accommodation, so they don’t provide accommodation, in Barcelona like homeless, I meet bad people. I told the Red Cross how I can survive, they told me you can go to for the homeless, is a place for the government, they open their doors at 9 you can sleep until 7 and they will kick your ass out, until you can’t more. So when I go to sleep once, I find a lot of them, they are drinking, they don’t let you sleep. It’s hard for me. So I said at least I’m going to search for a place so I can survive.

I find myself in Paris with Romanian people. They are also bad people but they are nicely  because I am homeless and they speak Spanish, they treat me nicely. I go with them. They were stealing things from the groceries, they would do bad things, but at the same time, I was surviving with them now. I’m not bad boy but how can I survive. Until in one day, I meet one, they said, “go to Calais”. I said “what there is?”, he said “in Calais you will have your own camp”. I said, “really I will have a camp for myself?” I were happy really. Because this is what I want, I want to sleep to alone, I want just to eat. That’s it. My request it was so easy, I find myself in Calais. And then I find a lot of people there trying to go to the UK. I find a lot of them. I ask everyone. I meet a lot of Yemenis, they are coming from German, they get evicted because their fingerprint. I find a lot of them they came from all European countries they get evicted because of their fingerprint. And all of the people they want to run to UK. So I decided I want to run there. Why? Because when the people come to the UK they are treated good. I will stay in this country. So I was finding a good country to belong. Because since I born, I never belong to any country, until now. I can tell you. I own this Yemen passport, yes, but I never feel like I belong to country. Because I am education, and I want to belong to country, I want to know what’s going in my economy, you know I have different mind. I want to belong to a country. So I said UK. UK. I contacted my friend, they are Saudis, they are studying in UK, they told me “you can go _____ but don’t think you will have a good life, they are capitalism”, I said “I know what it means capitalism”, but it’s okay for me I can survive, because I speak this language. At least I can speak with anyone, I can tell anyone I feel pain directly, without to speak in Arabic, without using interpreter, because I feel bad when I were in Spain. I don’t speak Spanish, the people there treat me bad, and when I want to speak, you can’t.

In Calais, I was trying to go to UK, there is a lot of things, where they are occupation the barking for the lorries. So in one day I want to do a chance and they threatening me I can’t and if I come again they will kill me, like Sudanese. Maybe you know there are a lot of things over there, they are killing people. In one day there were six officers that came to move people from where they are sleeping, they banged me in my head just to enter into the car to the police station, until my eyes are bleeding from inside. So I stay there in Calais for 3 months trying to go, in ______ I was having bad idea that I will go, I will swim for 5 minutes from the beach to the boat, I can enter to the boat, and enter to the ship that will go to UK. It’s easy, I’m a good swimmer, I came from Jeddah, Jeddah is on the beach, I like fish I know how to snorkelling, I know how to diving, even I know how to do fishing. It’s easy, so I enter into the sea, and I find it, the weather, I don’t think about the weather, I thought coming from 5 degree country, the weather is 5 degree. So my body is stop, all my body I can’t move it, after 2 mins I’m stuck in the sea, I find the wave is move me to out of the beach. I was screaming. I feel die. I stay there for 40 minutes, no one, no one listen to me. I thought I will die. Until, the police they came, they give me their hand, I give them my hand and I wake up in the hospital. It was nightmare for me, and in that time I find smugglers, who told me, that known me for long time and he’s nicely with me and he said “you know that people, they are paying 5000 pounds, if you can offer 2000 euro, I will take you with me”, I contact with my friend _______ I don’t have brothers, I don’t have family really. He said “it’s fine in my salary it will come and I will give it to you, just wait me for one month”. I arranged the money. I try once in February and the waves was so high, I was almost died, but I don’t scared this time because I feel death before I went. But the people they are crying, they were bringing the people to back. We back again to Calais after 1 hour. On ______ we try again and we enter to the UK.

So there is things that you don’t know. But maybe you want’ to know. In Paris, they want to appear me bisexual things and I resist that, I resist that he was nicely with me, he was just seeing if I will accept or not. But in Barcelona, one of them he wanted to rape me and I broke his head by a bottle of glass and I run away to Paris.

I told you all of my story now. So I’m just running away. Running, running, running.  Until I arrive to the UK and they want to kill my life again to start from zero. The problem is where will I go now? I don’t want to go to Spain. I want to go to another country. I want to go to Canada, I want to go to America. I want to go to any country, I don’t want back to Europe. Even if UK they don’t want me it’s okay. I don’t want to fight their regulation but at least search for a good place for me. I’m really feel bad. There are some people they cross from Spain, just they have fingerprint and they don’t want to Spain, their idea to go to UK, their own choice. But no, I want to stay in Spain, but I can’t stay in Spain. Really I can’t, I can’t. Even in France, one of the police, I forgot to tell you they banged me in my eyes. I still have scars in my eyes. It was bleeding on my face. I know, you will not believe, but I still have a video when he banged me. Is still have the video when I go out from the building in Calais, and before I go from the organisation in Spain, sorry I really forget things, before I go from my organisation I send an informal email to the United Nations, I told them everything what I see in this organisation because I was just asking them to move me to another organisation, but they said we will do our own investigation and no one was look after me. S what else, I call the police, he doesn’t help me, I contact with the United Nations, they don’t help me. I go to Barcelona, they don’t help me. I go to Calais, they don’t help me, the police. So I came to this country. I’m sorry if I bother you but I came by force. So now what? If you want to kill me? They detained me twice, I’m the only boy here in this detention, who is detained twice.

For me, they just detain me, and then no they don’t give me ticket, but for other people, many of them they have ticket except for one maybe. I think there are only two they don’t have ticket, including me. But other’s they have ticket on 27. And today one, our boys, they cancelled their ticket. One only and the others they have ticket, and for me I don’t have ticket. But I’m detained. I spoke with the mental health I told them I’m hearing noise from my head, they don’t care. I told them I can’t sleep, they don’t care. I told them I have nightmares, they don’t care. I told them, I’m taking medicine it’s for my high pressure and I have anxiety in my heart. I have an irregular beating heart you know. I explain everything, but no one cares. Really, I mean it. No one cares. Not immigration, United Nations, European countries. No one cares, no. The problem is UK they are taking our case and country, there is one, his name is Martin Griffiths from 2018, he’s from UK… everything that is going on with this country which is Yemen, no one cares. Unfortunately European countries, they are just lying. This is what I understand now. They are just like an angel from outside and they are dead from inside. I’m sorry to say that, but this is what I discover. I travel from many countries. My ex-girlfriend is from Europe also and when I enter Spain, I know this people they are kindly, but their system for an asylum seeker is bad. It’s exhausting, They are just treating you like a homeless. What I want from my paper if you will not give me accommodation, at least you will give me permission to work. I have high education. Just give me permission to work and I will manage myself. Nothing. Nothing. And now what? Suicide? I can’t. They just give me reason. What I will kill myself? Just help yourself, you can’t even die. No one cares. I came by myself by the way, the taxi he told me, “I will give you a new accommodation”. I said “you are lying, you will take me to the station, it’s okay I am going with, I am not afraid. If they do not want to give me my paper, it’s okay”, you know the God will fix my pain in one day. But now I feel my future is black. Bad life then next it became good life, then bad life, until now it’s bad.

I just can’t wait to see my kids because I really miss them so much

I’ve been in ________ detention camp now since January of this year, I basically finished my sentence. After I finished my sentence I spent extra 3 months in jail and I was brought down here to _______ detention camp. It was really, really depressing when they brought me here. It was a very stressful situation for me. This country basically know that … the Home Office basically know that I’ve got children and they brought me here even after I finished my sentence in jail which was very difficult – it made me more depressed.

So the real truth really came up when the corona situation came around in the whole world. At that period the detention people wasn’t really … to be honest they didn’t really care about the corona situation with us – the detainees. There was no hand gel, or anything that would put us in a safe environment in the detention camp. So the only time they were getting this situation serious was when they were getting visited by the immigration – from the big bosses – they were coming down to _________. That was when they started acting like they were doing everything right.

It’s good they’re trying to contain the coronavirus. The wings are closed. But a lot of people are really, really stressed because they want to go to education, they want to go to the internet to speak to their family or immigration – they provide a social media where you can speak to your family. Now, a lot of wings don’t have time to do those things. Because of cross-contact. Now the people that can pick up the coronavirus is the officers, not the detainees – because they’re coming from outside. And the time they’re giving them to go to education or internet is limited. So there’s a lot of things – immigration are just doing that – when people are trying to speak to them – they just do whatever pleases them. They say they can’t do it because of coronavirus – it’s a joke – they didn’t give us no masks – and the officers are coming from outside with no protective gear. They did not give no detainees face mask to cover themselves when it was really, really serious. There was no hand gel, or nothing. So what if corona came in here? What would have they said? It’s not fair. And I heard a couple of officers that had the coronavirus as well and they came to work. There’s no protection – nothing. Until one of the bosses from immigration had to come for a visit. When you go to the healthcare at that time – when the coronavirus was happening, there was no sticker to say 2 metres gap – it was all dangerous. It’s not fair what immigration is doing.

Most of the officers, they’re really nice, but I’d say about 60% of the officers don’t really care about what we really needed.

I would say two things that really happened to me. We’ve got a mouse infestation in the cell – in the wing. We’ve got bed bugs in the cells – they didn’t really take that very seriously until now.

And recently I just changed my wing. I’ll tell you my story, what’s been going on since I’ve been in ____ wing.

There was a time in my cell … I was in my cell watching a TV programme and I heard a scratching noise in my box where I kept my food in. I saw this mouse – there was a mouse in my box and I saw that and I immediately went to report it to the officers. They took my food away. They said they were going to reimburse me with my food. So they kept me hungry for almost 3 weeks before they could even reimburse me with my new canteen that I had in my box. They left me hungry. I told them about it – they said they’d sort it out – they never did – after 3 weeks. The food I had in my box was almost 30-40 something pounds and they only refunded about £20. I asked the manager, ‘so, what you refunded is not enough to cover my whole costs of the food I had’, and that was how everything just went … they no more said anything about it. I just left the whole situation.

So a few days ago as well I was in my cell I was sleeping and I felt a mouse. I was sleeping and felt something scratching my face – it was a mouse. So that was around 4am in the morning, so, I quickly stood up, I saw the mouse jump up and run away. I washed my face very hard. I had to wash my mouth because I was worried that the mouse has weed all over my face. After I cleaned up my face I called the office, I rang the office that was doing the late shift in the morning, they came to my door and said, ‘okay, in the morning try and speak to the manager’. And when it was 8 O clock I phoned the staff and said I wanted to speak to the manager. But I felt really bad because I felt that the staff they didn’t really take my complaint very seriously. And I was really, really upset with it. So they kept me waiting until after 10 in the morning.

Then one of the managers came and I said this was the situation. The manager didn’t even ask me ‘okay, you know what, would you like to move to a different cell, you need a new towel, a new bed sheet’ or something like that – nothing – the first thing she said to me was – ah, she’s going to send me to healthcare psychology. Why would I want to see a psychologist?! Why would I want to see a psychologist?! She was supposed to be someone to care for the detainee, you know? Saying ‘you know what, you need a new towel, have a shower, we’ll make sure we find a new cell for you and if you want to move wing’. She never said anything like that. So basically she put me down for psychology.

When she spoke to me I didn’t say nothing, I was upset by the statement she said. And I went to the health care who said, you know what I need to see a doctor to check myself to make sure the mouse didn’t pee in my mouth or anything like that. Just to make sure I was okay. So, when I came back to my wing I was upset by the whole thing. None of the officers came to me or asked me anything.

When I came back to the wing I saw one of the immigration ladies. I told the lady everything that happened. At 1 O clock, they wanted me to clean. And I was really upset. I went upstairs to clean, but I felt sad because, I felt the staff only wanted their own job to be done. They didn’t really care about me. You understand what I’m saying? They wanted me to clean. I was already upstairs, I went upstairs already and it was clean. And they were screaming my name and I didn’t really answer.

What I’m trying to say is that, most of these officers, they only really, really care about themselves. Honestly. They don’t really care about what you’re about to tell them.

________ Centre is a very dirty wing. Dirty cells. The cells are very dirty. Most of the cells had bed bugs. The cells are cold as well. During the winter time the cells were really, really freezing. I told them about the temperature as well and they keep saying they’ll come and do it and they never did it. Even during the summer time when it was so hot as well. A lot of us don’t have fans in our cells. When it’s boiling hot – there was no breeze.

Sometimes even you want a shower – you have to shower with hot water – you can’t choose which water you want. When you go to the shower – you can’t even shower with cold water. It just comes out hot – automatically. And when you shower the hot water you’re sweating more – so what’s the point of showering?! It’s just completely hot – it’s humid. We don’t even have a fridge at least for our drinks – just for it to be cold. When you buy your drink your drink is hot. When the room is hot there’s not even a fan.

They don’t find solutions to see how they can help people here. So sometimes when you’re depressed and stressed, it’s very difficult for you to find someone you can talk to.

The only thing that really cares about me is the mental health. Which were really good to me. And the education section as well was really, really good for me. One of the teachers that has really helped me to really, really move forward in my life and try to help me with the pain, depression, stress, was one of the teachers in the art class. She’s a really, really fantastic teacher. She has helped me a lot … really, really helped me a lot. Her name is _____. She has really, really helped me a lot, she is fantastic in here.

I felt like most of the officers here do not really care about us at all. One of the things that really upset me so much was during the coronavirus. They didn’t really care about if, you know, if we’re going to be sick they’re even not providing no masks for us. For our face – nothing. They didn’t give us no mask at that period. Nothing like that, even no anti-bacteria for our hands – nothing. You know? I really, really felt bad. The only time they were really stepping up was because they were going to have a visit – that’s when they started doing things.

I’ve been here for 8 months now. It’s unfair. They know I’ve got children. They know that I’ve been to jail and I’ve done my time and it’s just not fair. You know, keeping me here for no reason. They’ve kept me here for so long. Making me more stressed.

I don’t think that it’s really that healthy for a lot of us here. There’s a lot of people as well that have really got problems. And when they really try to speak to the officers – they laugh. I see them. We see them a lot. It’s like they use situation that we have to mock us – they talk behind our back and we see that – they laugh. If they’re there to help, they don’t want to help.

It’s just a couple of the officers – that are really, really good. But I’ll guarantee you that when you need to do something for yourself to know that you’re going to take care of yourself – the most – they don’t really care. When you try to tell them to help you with something, they don’t really care. You really have to put in so much effort for them to listen to you. So basically, if you tell them that ‘ah you know what, I’m not going to bang up – I’m not going to go into the cell’ – that’s when they want to take things very, very seriously. During the lock hours time – around 9 O clock – if you tell them that you don’t want to get banged up, then a few of the managers come – that’s when they want to listen to you. So it’s a lot of stress in this situation.

I’ve got a friend who stays here as well. Every day he’s been crying. Every day he just doesn’t want to stay here any more. He needs a ticket to go back to his country but … we can all see that it’s so stressful. Nobody wants to help him. Nobody wants to listen to him. Yesterday he called me and said that he’s not even gonna ‘lock’ – he’s not gonna go into his cell for him to be locked up because nobody wants to listen to him. He’s been in the centre now since about a few months, about 2 months now. And he’s been crying that he needs his ticket to go back, but they keep laughing at him, it’s like they’re mocking him. They don’t want to speak to him to help him. And yesterday he called me to say that he’s not going to go to his cell for the officers to lock him. Really late at 9pm. So he has to wait for the managers to come before they will speak to him. I just feel like a lot of things need to change in this place.

Even the food we eat – the food we eat here is sometimes – the fish we’re given to eat is not even proper cooked. You understand? Sometimes the rice we’re given is not even proper cooked so basically sometimes I have to buy canteen to even eat. Like today, most of the time, even, everyday I don’t even really eat the food. The only time I eat is in the night time like 8 hours I’ve been locked up that’s the only time I feel like I want to eat – because I can’t even eat the food. My cell right now that I’m in right now is very cold. Today feels very cold. Yesterday was really hot and stuffy. They don’t really take nothing really serious at all.

The only officers that are really there for me are ____ and the person who really helped me as well is in art, because I’ve never done art before, but I’ve learnt so much. She’s always told me that ‘don’t let your situation always put you down’. But when you try to talk to other officers they never take you serious.

I’m really upset as well that even my canteen that – mouse went into that they reimbursed me with £20 – none of the officers that I told about my situation has come up to me and said ‘you know what, we’re gonna make sure that we’ll pay you back the remaining money for your canteen.’ They never paid me! They never paid me back my money. I wrote every list down of the £20. I just smoke tobacco, and tobacco here costs £15. So what other food was included in it? Nothing. So that tells you that these people don’t really care. They don’t really care. Even for me to get that £20 I have to always tell them every day about my canteen. They left me 3 weeks without my food. It’s unfair. It’s really unfair. It’s just ridiculous in here, I’m telling you.

Even at the end of the day, when we go for bail, they said you’re gonna leave at this time. Like now, I was supposed to go to _______. They were going to provide an address in _______. They promised me I was going to go to _______ for my address. My lawyer said to me. She’s a fantastic lass she’s so hard working – I appreciate that I’ve got her as my lawyer. She worked so hard for me to get my accommodation. They give me accommodation in ________. She said to me last week I was going to get released. So the probation was supposed to approve the address. Now they’re calling me – she called me and said to me that the probation couldn’t approve the address because someone else has moved there. So why would immigration give me an address in ______ and said I was going to go to and now it’s cancelled.

So now I have to wait again – til next week. Now they put me in a situation that – I don’t even know the place that I’ll be going. At least I was happy because my kids – my children are in ______. Now all my heart was – at least I’m going _______. So why would they change and say ‘you know what – you’re going to a different place.’ I believe they’re doing this purposely just to make you more depressed which is not really good – it’s not nice. They shouldn’t be doing things like this. If they’re going to do something they should keep their word. You understand what I’m trying to say to you?

It’s just a bit stressful being here but, you know what, you just have to be strong. Very stressful. 8 months. I did my sentence about 9 months and I ended up staying extra 3 months. It’s unfair. 2 days I was gonna go home and immigration came for me. And they kept me in detention in jail for extra 3 months and bring me down here again. So in total I’ve stayed here about 10 months. I served my prison sentence – for 9 months. I finished that and after I finished that, they gave me an extra 3 months …. 2 days before I was going home they came for me. I was gonna get released here. I was gonna go out. I’ve been here since January. So it’s just a bit stressful and depressing. It’s really bad. It’s a long time. It’s a long time.

Please if any way you lot can help us, they should try and make sure that this place is a clean place for people to live. It’s not clean. There’s a lot of mouse infestation – bed bugs. I don’t know if it’s bed bugs but I noticed some biting on my body. The cells are dirty. Completely dirty. It’s tough in here. It’s really, really difficult.

You know Ms _____ – she’s fantastic – she always calls me every single week. She doesn’t need to be doing that but she calls me every time – what’s going on – what I need. If other officers can do it for me – I have to call Ms. ____ because she’ll sort it out for me. Even I have my engagement officer – she doesn’t even pick up her phone. It’s like they don’t care. I really needed her so much, you know, to speak to her. My engagement officer – they don’t really care. The phone was ringing and she doesn’t …. I have to call Ms. ______ they’re the one who will sort it out. Immigration needs to change. Just a few people in different departments who really care about you. I’m so lucky to have Ms. ______. I’m telling you. She’s been one of the backbones for me. She’s made it possible for me – when I’m stressed and depressed and I ring her – you know – she speaks to me – she makes sure that it’s done. I’m so grateful for everything she has done. I’m telling you the truth.

I’ve been here a while and once I’m out I’m just going to thank god that I’m out. Need to get a rest and just relax. I just can’t wait to see my kids because I really miss them so much. It’s been almost 3 years since I’ve seen them. I just can’t wait to see my family. I miss my children. I can’t wait to go out and be happy and see my children.

There are no flights going anywhere, we are in prison here

There are no flights going anywhere, we are in prison here. Why aren’t they letting us go back to our families? They are releasing people with no address. I’ve gone an address, i’ve got my address to go to. Why go through bail again? Just releases us.

They keep pushing notes under the door saying its advised to keep two metres apart. Its impossible, unless they are going to lock us up and feed us one by one. People are coming to me to read out these notes cos they can’t read English. My English isn’t great so I could be making mistakes when I’m explaining it to them. I’m trying to explain it to them and keep the two metres apart while I’m doing it.

When you go for lunch there is a long queue, how you keeping two metres apart there? I’m not worried about the people in here I’m worried about the officers who are coming in and not getting tested.

An African man, been here 15months and suddenly he got sick. When the doctor come for him they were wearing facemarks and gloves and everything. If you got the virus you don’t know. They aren’t testing us. At the end of the day we aren’t prisoners, we are detainees. We can’t go anywhere. Paracetamol, paracetamol. That ain’t going to solve anything. You have to wait ages to see the doctor here, I understand when you’re outside, but in here man! If you want to see the Dr they don’t want to see you, they just say do it on the phone.

I’m scared to go outside. This is mental torture. I’m fed up, I’m fed up, I’m fed up. I’m so sad in here. We are all fed up. They are just telling us stories. Telling us things we need to hear. This is how everyone feels, not just me.

I’m getting a headache, I’m thinking too much.

If i was on the outside id be happy to share my story. But in here they would punish me.

It’s really hostile right now

What is the situation like inside?

It’s really hostile right now. The thing is I’m confused as to what’s going to happen and the officers, basically, they’re clueless as well, they don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s a lot of confusion inside. For example: There’s a guy, they told him that he’s been released, then all of a sudden, he don’t have a caseworker, so they’re giving people false information.

And then when people are acting out you want to be putting them in the block and they changed, they said, they’re trying to close down the gym, the mosque, the church, and all of these things, the pool table, all of these things, they don’t want no gathering kind of thing. But before that, they put more tables on each wings, put two people in a cell, in a room together. And trying to put everyone together. And I was saying to them “That’s not right, because if one person gets it, everyone’s gonna have it. And you lot are putting people’s rights at risk because no one inside can catch it because we’re not seeing anyone.

They’ve stopped all visits now. That’s a no-no. So the only person you can catch it from is the officers.

Have deportation flight stopped or are people still being issued tickets?

Sunday just gone, I knew they had a flight out, but I’m not quite sure where. I knew they had a flight to Poland I think yesterday or the day before but that got cancelled.

Do you know if anyone has been taken out of detention because of the virus?

Not personally, but there was a few people there that we haven’t seen or heard from, they kind of kept it on the D-low kind of thing.

What’s the process if people develop symptoms inside?

Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t know what their protocol is for that.

Regardless of the situation, if they’re following everything, if they’re trying to say they’re following what the government says, half the things that they’re doing inside now is wrong. So if they follow what the government is saying, they should take that person to one side, get him tested sooner rather than later, and if all those tests come back and he’s not positive then fair enough. But we don’t know… I don’t know what step they would take for that as yet.

Are people being tested?

No, I think they’re isolating them.

What has your experience been like? How have things changed?

My experience. When I first arrived it was because I was one of the people that they said had a charter flight. So it was nerve-wracking. And then when the flight got cancelled, they didn’t tell no one, they did not let anybody know whatsoever. No one. So everyone was just there up until this day, it was today they called me and said, “you’re being released”. That’s it. They don’t let you know nothing. The way they go about things I think is wrong. Holding someone there for however long, not letting them know, if you go to court, they’re telling you “they’ve got a flight that’s imminent”. I mean, what is imminent? Imminent could be in 6 months, 1 year, 2 years. What is imminent? You have people there for years. Years. And you’re not releasing anyone, you don’t have a reason why you’re keeping them there, so why don’t you release them on certain conditions.

The next thing I don’t understand is, if they’ve got someone that’s signing on and that’s on tag, what’s the need for you to be taking them back into detention? And they don’t have a flight that’s imminent?

And the way they’re going about things as well, say for instance, you’ve appealed your case and they don’t let you know in advance like “okay we’re dismissing your case” and the reason why they’re dismissing your case. Because they told me, they turned down my appeal because my family ties was not real. How are you going to tell me, me, my wife and my child, that’s not real? What can I go and borrow someone’s child? The way they go about things is stupid.

They have people working in there who are not helping you whatsoever. You’ve got a doctor in there, when you go to him, he’s not listening to you, he’s writing information on your paperwork, it’s like he’s working for the Home Office. He’s not there to help. I don’t understand, why are you working in here? You’re meant to be a doctor, you’re meant to be finding out the reason, you can’t be treating everyone, everyone’s got a different problem, a different illness, but you’re treating everyone the same. “Everyone’s depressed, you want anti-depressants or all of these sleeping tablets”. No, not everyone’s got the same problem, they’re forcing things on people.

Are people being released?

People are being released. But they said a few hundred, I haven’t seen a few hundred. Today is the first that I’ve seen 8 people, yesterday there was 2, today there was 8. Maybe it’s getting better… I don’t know. No yesterday there was none. Monday there was 2. People were going to court yesterday, and then they found out they didn’t have any court. They’re still there up until now.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Apart from the healthcare in there is rubbish, the Home Office lack of information. When you ask a question they don’t get back to you. They give you a letter, you can apply for status, but me personally, I waited for a whole month and I had to go to them and ask them, the same day, they said they refused it. And they received something saying that I had a flight that was imminent. What is imminent? And the caseworkers that they give people… I’ve got a caseworker that lives in Liverpool. I’ve never spoke to my caseworker. Not once. My caseworker don’t know me from nowhere. And every single thing I ask my caseworker, she said “no.” Every single thing. You name it. They’ve said no to it.

The system is not fair on anyone. There’s a no win. You can’t win.

They need to have guidelines that you can go off. Not picking and choosing, who and why or how many.

I put in for a JR and within an hour or so, they’re saying my JR was refused. What are the guidelines they go through? What measures did they take? What did they look at? What don’t they look at? I don’t understand. Those are things I would like to know.

I done 14 months for robbery for a mobile phone. Me and a friend, basically, I was trying to stop my friend from getting into an argument with an ex-friend and he went to the police and we stole them, we took their phones. That’s that. I was on tag before I went to jail and I only done about 6 weeks. 2 months. Then they put me in a detention centre and I got bail from the detention centre, this was back in 2012 I think it was. Since then, immigration and my caseworker, I had my indefinite leave to remain, that got taken away from me. Everything I’ve put into my casework at the Home Office, they’ve declined it. They told me that, my mum, my brother, my sister, and my dad, that I came into this country with are not my family, they’re not my immediate family. They also told me, my medical condition that I have is okay. I suffer from chronic headaches, and I blackout, I was previously been running tests on my heart and my head and because I’ve been back mostly in detention, they change your hospital appointments each time you come, so your family or you don’t know when you’re going. When you do get released you have to wait, because under the neurology part it takes 6 months to a year a for the doctor to see you, this is kind of a difficult procedure. So all of that has gotten mixed up throughout the time. It’s been real, real difficult trying to take care, and get medical help. I don’t know. I know that I pass out randomly, anytime anywhere, you name it, I’ve done it.

Not everyone falls under the criteria [of asylum] because some people use it just to get out. The people that are genuinely, literally, genuinely need to seek asylum, they just look at it. Not everyone suits that criteria. They need to check out these people’s stories, see if it’s genuine. If they’ve got scars to prove it, if they have family that has been in the same situation. They need to, basically, ask for more information, go about it a different way. Because I’ve been here since I was 11 years old and I haven’t been back to Jamaica. They killed my cousins and our family member. I even got a medical condition that they don’t give two shits about.

I’ve passed out several times in the detention centre and my friend and my missus was on the phone and they were all telling me ‘get up’ kicking me, telling me to ‘get up’ and these are meant to be people that’s working in the detention centre with the NHS. Things like that are not right because regardless of the situation, if I would have known that, that they were doing these things to me, I would have then flipped out if I was not in a vulnerable state. And then that would have made it look bad for me. I black out and I don’t know nothing. I pass out.

Sunday just gone, I passed out and I dislocated my shoulder in my room. I didn’t know my shoulder was dislocated or anything. In the morning I was taking Ibuprofen every 4 hours and it’s wearing off every 3 hours and I have to wait to take it back again. I was in so much pain, I did not think calling them to find out and asking them for healthcare would do me any justice because they don’t really care. It’s not what they’re telling people, what they’re putting out to the public is not the same treatment that you’re getting. When I went to healthcare I saw a nurse and a doctor that was working in mental health and it’s only then that nurse, she started doing her job properly, and she asked “how did you dislocate your shoulder?” and I was like “I think I passed out because I can’t remember how or why it happened” and then she went through asking questions and running tests on me. Then she went to speak to her manager, the manager came in and she started assessing me and then the doctor came in and put my shoulder back in and he said “I’m going to send you to the hospital to get an x-ray”. Even now I still need to do physiotherapy on my shoulder and I need to get that sorted out but I don’t know how I’m going to do that now because of the whole corona thing. So I don’t know how I’m going to go about that, I need to find out.

Since I’ve been there, I’ve been there since the 28th of January till today and that was the first time I talked to someone in healthcare and they were absolutely doing their job. That’s the first, the first, and I’m not exaggerating, the first time I think I literally got genuine help from someone. And if they had more staff like those two ladies in there, like, brilliant, brilliant, thumbs up, all day everyday but if they’re making you speak to the doctor like I was spoken to the first time I got there, no way you’re getting help, you could be dying, and they tell you to just take paracetamol or they can give you something stronger, co-codamol, without listening to you.

I’ve done a rule 35, genuinely I’m putting for asylum, a genuine case, I don’t need to fabricate nothing, I don’t need to lie about anything about what happened in my past and they, he, done a rule 35, he was meant to refer me to mental health and he done nothing. I told him, “could he up my doses for my medication?” he’s like “no” the only thing he could do is give me paracetamol and Ibuprofen for my headache, where my head’s hurting. I was like “Ibuprofen, paracetamol do not work for me, this is not a now issue, this an ongoing issue for the last 10 years” or more. He’s not understanding that, he don’t care. I said it to the managers, I’m like “listen, I really don’t like the way this doctor is treating me if he’s treating me like that, I don’t want to know about anything else”. And then I spoke to a couple other detainees, they go to him, me and two other guys got there and saw him, all we wanted to do is turn back, because we know that we’re not getting no help whatsoever. A lot of people feeling like that. There’s no help. And these are meant to be people that’s meant to be helping you.

New day

New day started.                                            

What will you do?                                         That’s ok. Try to do it now, if you can.

Are you going to think about the past?     Or try to do, what needs doing now.

Is it really worth it?                                      Today is a new day.

You can’t change the past,                          Live it!

So why you want to do it?                            Past is gone and it won’t come back.

Take past into consideration,                     You’ll remember it.

But think about now and future.                Believe me, I know.

Past won’t come back in reality,                But that’s the part of who we are,

Only in our minds.                                         That’s the part of our lesson.

The present is,                                               Learn from it,

The future will be…                                       But don’t try to re-live it again.

You say, you made a mistake.                     There is a bright future in front of us.

That’s ok. Everybody does them.                We just need to try not to screw it up again.

Now try not to repeat it.                               Don’t let the past haunt you.

You say, you didn’t do something               Darkness is all around us…

And you should have.                                   We just need to light the candle of hope…

Lost

One step, two steps…

Stop! Go back to where you came from!

Left foot, right foot…

Where do you think you’re going?

Just let me go back home.

It’s already late and I’m lost.

Can you show me the way, please?

I took the wrong turn somewhere on my way,

If not few wrong ones…

I can’t find my way back…

Where am I?

Oh God, please help me!

Show me where to go!

I don’t know what to do.

Others don’t seem to know the way either…

Who can help me, if not You?

Give me the sign, so I know the way,

In which direction should I go?

I’m scared I won’t be able to find my way back.

I’m scared I’ll keep taking the wrong turns

And I get lost even more, than I already am.

You’re my last and only hope,

My candlelight in the darkness…

If the hope is gone, then everything is gone…

I’m lost…

Don’t let me lose my hope as well…