I can only speak on my behalf. I can only talk about me personally. So if you want to know about others that’s fine as well but.
Personally, I came to this country young as a refugee by myself. I was helped by the United Nations from Somalia. My flight left Ethiopia to Paris in 1996 and when I got to Paris airport I was transferred to another flight bound for London. I was told what to do, as soon as you get to the airport say you are from Somalia and to claim as a refugee straight away – which is what I did. I was taken in by Social Services, I was taken to a B+B for a couple of weeks. And ever since then I have been in this country legally. I did not understand the law and how immigration works. I didn’t know what I needed to do to obtain passports or travel documents or anything like that.
Since 1996 till now, the Home Office have never provided me with identification whatsoever. Even though they said I could claim benefits or I could work you know. But I didn’t have an identification to prove who I was so I was struggling. I was homeless on the streets you know. There are a lot of homeless agencies that have helped me over the years. They’ve got my name on the records so you can check I’m on there to confirm, they have my name on their files I’m sure.
Over the years I’ve been arrested for petty crimes like shop lifting. The stuff I was stealing was mainly food, I wasn’t stealing alcohol or I wasn’t robbing people on the street or burgling people’s houses. I was just trying to survive and the best thing I could do was go to a supermarket and nicking a sandwich or something like that. You can check my criminal record, it’s all there.
The first time I was detained was in 2010. I was here when the gentlemen was killed, [Mubenga]. I’ve been detained, in and out in and out. But whether I’m in there or out my life has never been there because of the simple thing as an identification that I have never have ID. I would be put outside and after a couple of months they would nick me again and say that I was illegal in this country and what not.
Before I could get a solicitor to help me, these days I can’t get a solicitor and that’s why I’m still in this predicament right now.
I was here when there was the guy who was killed in 2010. I believe he was from Angola. I was talking to him the way I am talking to you. Like I knew the guy. They put him on the plane, he struggled with them and he ended up choking to death you know.
Since I came here to Brook House, I was in another detention centre for 10 months and I didn’t hear anything from the home office in all that time until I got into trouble with the officers and they shipped me off here.
Since I’ve been here I’ve witnessed people trying to kill themselves, jumping on the wire meshes.
I’ve witnessed people cutting themselves. I am one of those people, I’ve got scars all over my body. Just to try and get some help. I’ve got a lot of mental problems at the moment. You know strees, depression, anxiety, paranoia. I’ve been trying to get some medical help if I could but I can’t seem to get any medical help in here. I can’t seem to see a doctor in here.
I’ve tried to fax the paper to the court but the courts are demanding £140 from me that I don’t have in order to see my case. I don’t know what to do at the moment. I am very desperate. I don’t know what to do, I’m in a cell by myself everyday being harassed to sign a piece of paper to go back to my country. And going back there to me is a death sentence. I’m cooperating with them as much as I can but I don’t know how anyone can cooperate to be returned to somewhere where they are going to be killed basically, so I don’t know what I can do.
I’m very sure that a judge would release me and this is the problem that I’ve been having but I can’t get any legal advice whatsoever.
As far as the things, I have witnessed in here – there is a guy in here and he’s the reason I am calling you.
They are trying to take him back to Tunisia and he’s from Greece, he’s lived there for 21 years. He has documentation to that effect. He did not want to go back to Tunisia. He is not violent, he cannot even speak English that guy. There is no words that he can say to them you know.
They beat him up, they broke his fingers. There are scars all over his hands like coming from the handcuffs. They pulled his fingers out of the sockets, they didn’t break the fingers but they pulled like three for fingers out of his sockets you know what I mean. After, his joints were very painful. All his fingers are swollen. His leg, he can’t walk properly.
At the moment, I’ll be honest with you . I believe that technically I don’t exist. The Home Office or the agencies that work for them, they could do anything to me you know, move me some where, bury me if they want to because who is there to know otherwise. There is no one ringing to check up on me, there is no solicitor to check up on me. I don’t feel safe to be in the hands of the state at the moment.
I’ve been in this country long enough to know that there are good British people out there. No one can convince me otherwise. But as far as the government is concerned I would not trust them. I’m really really paranoid, even this time I’m talking to you I believe that I’m being listened to but what choice have I got.
On Wednesday I’ve got an interview with them and this has been made to look like an interview but I believe I’m going to be removed from this detention centre but God knows where I’ll be taken. And I just need someone or anybody to keep in touch with me just to make sure they know that I’m safe because I don’t know what I’m facing at the moment. You know the world is a very dangerous place at the moment.
Publicity is the only weapon that I have at the moment. That we have at the moment. Not only I, there are a lot of us here.
Basically they tried to deport him to Tunisia. He’s lived in Greece for 21 years, he’s got indefinite leave to remain in Greece. Came over from Greece to here. They wanted to deport him and he said fair enough you can deport me back to there by law you should be deported people back to the first country they claim asylum in. They refused to do that, they tried to deport him back to Tunisia, even though they have proof that the man actually lives in Greece.
So he refused to go and that’s when they grabbed him by the neck according to him. Twisted him up, broke his fingers, fucked up his leg. They brought him back the following morning, he came here. We took him to see the nurses and doctors. The doctor did not take any pictures of the incident. We called the police. Every time you call the police I believe they record it, so you can check to confirm this. The police refused to come and said they needed to speak to take it up with staff in here as soon as they heard we were calling from Brooke House. They said no we can’t come to Brooke House, if you have any problems take it up with the management.
Now I believe that if I commit an assault against anybody outside like that then that is GBH, and I would be arrested and pending trial I would go to prison for that kind of crime. Why should that be done to anybody and you can’t call the police, they don’t want to know? That makes us feel like we are less human that others.
The officers, they came up stairs and they told us you called the police and said no problem they accept it and straight away they gave me this notice for an appointment with the removal people on Wednesday. Now I’ve never been issued with any removal notice and no flight ticket so why am I having a meeting even though my case is still going. So because we called the police we are getting threats because of that.
We took him to the doctors. We saw how they treated him so we had to take action into our own hands.
Yes I can say that, as a result of that, I believe my life is in danger. You know I don’t mind, if its for the right reasons I will die happily no problem. The truth is the truth you know, at the end of the day you don’t need to advertise the truth. The truth will stand up to itself.
I have a problem accessing mental health in here. Every time you want to see a doctor you see a nurse. They make sure you don’t see a doctor they just give you paracetamol and that’s it. I’ve got cuts all over my body, I’ve got cuts all over my back. I have got so many injuries. I self harm at the moment, you know I’m not proud to say that. But I’m really you know, I’m desperate.
I’ve never been violent against anybody or any staff member. People have been made in charge by the home office. They are in charge of my life and they make lies about me. I have no way of defending myself.
I believe I had more rights when I was in prison in an A cat prison and in a B cat prison than in a detention centre. You have something called adjudication where you’d say your side of the story and the officer involved would say their side of the story. Then the governer would make a decision after that. So you do get a fair process that you don’t have here.
They say you have the internet here, they have computer screens but basically you can’t access anything. It’s blocked. You can’t access anything because it’s blocked.
You can’t get no reception in the building. When people outside they call but all the time they can’t get hold of me you know. This phone is different with a Lyca chip that’s we I think haven’t got reception.