The Diary of a Wimpy Illegal

I am an immigration detainee at Harmondsworth detention centre refereed to as Heathrow IRC.

It was 14 February 2018. There was a chartered flight set to fly from Stansted Airport around 10:30 p.m. When chartered flights are in place, the Home Office does not tell the detainees who are bound for it before hand. They are just given 10 minutes to gather their stuff and are escorted to the reception where their property is already packed up and are boarded on the buses bound for the airport. Despite the secrecy surrounding it, most detainees actually know about the day and try to file legal injunction nonetheless.

It was some what similar for me and nine other detainees on 14 Feb 2018. Around 4:00 p.m., I was told that my name was on the charter list and I have to pack up my stuff and come with an officer to the reception quickly, I complied. I saw a detainee who was resisting the deportation being strapped in belts on the reception. After getting cleared up from reception I was put on a bus along with nine other detainees. It was under Tascor escorts and there were about 18 to 20 security officers on board. There was one officer sitting with every detainee. 3 to 4 officers were standing in the middle and couple of them along with the driver so altogether there were about 30 people on board. The bus left the centre between 5:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. I don’t remember the time exactly. The bus was on its way. Most of us were very depressed and some simply didn’t want to leave, but all of us were resigned to the fact that we simply cannot do anything and resisting and protesting would simply result in us getting strapped in a confinement suit just like the one I saw on reception.

Everything else seemed fine. It was M25. Junction 16, a lady officer was giving food items when she suddenly yelled that there is a fire at the back of the bus. I looked back and heavy flames were coming out of the back. I literally got panicked as it seemed that the bus could blow up at any moment and with it us well. It took the driver 2 to 3 minutes to stop the bus on the sideways.

Preservation of life

What happened next was a blunder of unimaginable proportion. Instead of evacuating everybody immediately with the threat of a blast imminent, officers started the so called calming down process asking every body to calm down. There was already smoke inside the bus. They started putting handcuffs on everybody. I was panicked and I repeatedly made it clear to my escort officer, that we need to leave as the bus could blow away yet it did not happen. It took three to four minutes after stopping that we left the bus. After we left the bus, the whole bus was on fire within the matter of minutes.

Again the silliness of our escort officer was somehow evident. We moved away but did not go too far, it was only after some detainees stressed that we are still in the blast radius if one does occur, we moved further away.

Tascor is probably a professional firm, but they don’t seem to educate their employees with the fire protocols. It is not important that the bus did not blow up, the important thing is that it easily could have anytime. Every fire and safety protocol on this planet was probably ignored at the time and 3 to 4 minutes that they wasted handcuffing the detainees, the bus could have blown up in that time with 30 precious lives lost and for what?

There was a risk in their opinion that the detainees could have run away or escaped, then what what what what what what what what, I did not see any Al Capone, Hannibal lecture or Bin Laden among the detainees. Even if a detainee had run away, how far or for how long could they have. They could have been caught next hour, next week or next year but none of us were gangsters, serial killers etc.

Was it really worth putting 30 lives on board at risk for such petty concerns at the time, was it?

The Tascor security guards were really unprofessional, silly and sluggish in the way they dealt with the situation. It looked like none of them had ever done a fire drill and vice versa.

I raised my concern about the delay in evacuation and I was given the same explanation that some could have run away without the handcuffs. It did seem that they themselves thought that they miscalculated the seriousness of the whole situation and did massively underrated the urgency needed for the whole situation as the whole bus was engulfed in flames quite quickly. They admitted quite openly that It was hugely an unusual situation for them, as something they had not experienced before.

What transpired after just made the matters worse at the whole new level. We were like 80 to 100 meters away from the bus and wind directly blowing towards us. It was cold, windy and it was raining as well and we were stranded there out in the open in the rain for two hours. A Tascor van carrying the detainee who I had seen at reception being forcefully removed stopped by with his escort officer sitting with him at the back permanently. As it could only hold 4 more persons at a time, us 10 detainees took turn sitting inside, with couple of us seriously unwell sitting permanently.

So it goes, we were there exposed to thick smoke, cold and rain for more than two hours. One of the detainee with his handcuff on slipped and fell down and broke his wrist. Unfortunately after preliminary medication, no help arrived for him for a long time with him being in pain all that time. One of detainee was diabetic. He started getting unwell. With his medicines burnt out and despite repeated pleas, it still took more than 30 minutes for a medic to arrive. Again the possibilities go beyond measure, where he could have suffered some serious consequence.

Same Boat

While out in the open, exposed to continuous rain and cold, with all clothing wet, we repeatedly asked the officers at least to ask somebody for blankets and rain coats.

The fire brigade was there along with the police and I thought that they would be courteous enough to pass on blankets or towels or something to at-least make our punishment easy but again no success. We asked if our handcuffs could be removed, but they couldn’t. So for more than two hours we were handcuffed out in the open, seeing all the belonging we had burn to dust. The only comforting thing they could say was, “we are all in the same boat”

The bus had every single thing we owned from properties to the documents and all gone in the puff of smoke. I lost everything from my property, contacts down to my birth certificate.

Barely Escaped!

In all figment of imagination, we barely escaped death. It would have been a different story if we had stayed in there for couple of more minutes. It was both relief and mentally traumatizing just to think that we barely escaped death, but to think that we could have easily died just because Tascor wanted to put handcuffs on following detainee protocol rather than fire safety one, it just boils my blood down beyond any measure. And who would have cared. People in detention die quite frequently. There are suicide attempts every now and then, and what happens—–Nothing. Everything goes under the carpet and covered up with barely any details coming out.

The government says that immigration detainees are not criminals and we are keeping them in a way ensuring their honour and dignity stays intact. Well it’s probably something the home secretary says to herself in the mirror just to sleep well.

The escape from the burning bus was probably the most traumatizing event of our life mentally, but made to stand out in open rain on the roadside with handcuffs on, being treated like serial killers, well I must say I have never been more embarrassed than this thus in my entire life. The shame and embarrassment we felt that day standing on the road side, we would certainly never be able to forget. That was probably the kind of therapy and Counselling fit for illegal immigrants after a traumatizing event.

I have been in this country for some years and have seen its good side. I have been in detention for some months now, and the things that I have seen happening here, well my past self would not believe it even if go on to tell it myself in person using a time machine.

Detention centre is where the salt and fresh water come together. In the waters case, they don’t mix well I guess, but here immigration detainees who have never committed a crime in their life are mixed with the hard line and habitual criminals and the result is a perfect match up.

The drugs here are as common as a bottle of coke. They are properly marketed and you can get them without any fuss. You will see somebody getting high and dropping unconscious on the floor every single day. There is drug related incident every single day where people overuse them and suffer its serious consequences. But is there any record kept on that??? I myself thought so many times that I should keep a journal documenting personal experiences of different detainees but as the title suggest was too wimpy to do so. I have gone off topic, so my apologies but one thing I must say is that I have seen so many nice and innocent people coming to this detention centre clean and end up being a drug addict of a proportion who might do anything just for a joint of spice.

Where is the dignity there? Where is the honour there? Are we not human beings at the end of the day and is being an illegal immigrant deprives us the very right to be a legal human. The drugs distribution on this massive scale can simply not be carried out without the help of the detention staff and management but who is responsible for that? Who is? Only IMB guys come in here as independent observers, they have seen things and know about the drugs problem, what have they done up until now? It just simply throw their integrity and their competence in question as well.

Coming back to the incident, we were out in the open cold, rain and smoke and treated like serial killers with our handcuffs on. My wrists are still swollen. And I have pain in hip and lower back as I slopped while changing buses but I would come back to it later.

After stranded out in the open for couple of  hours, a bus came in which was actually moving other detainees from Brook House bound for the chartered flight. We boarded the bus. We were then told that we will be taken to the Stansted airport and us 10 detainees will be transferred to another bus and taken back to the detention centre. We arrived at the airport around 10:30 I guess. After the detainees from Brook House were removed, we waited there for a while and were transferred to another bus. I slipped while getting off and sudden jerk caused some pain in right hip and lower back.

We left and arrived at the Heathrow IRC between 1:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.. For some reason they did not let us in for over an hour and we waited again on reception for almost 3 more hours to be cleared up. I personally reached my room around 6 in the morning. One of the lady officer was very rude and all of us showed our displeasure at it. Another officer acknowledged her behaviour and just told us to let it go as everybody was having a tiring night. There are officers in this detention centre who are kind and courteous and then there are those who are bullies, who like to keep personal grudges with the detainees, and always find the incompetent managers on their side. One bad apple spoils the whole barrel, and in here there are plenty who would make even Nurse Ratched proud.

We had been through a lot, yet we were not given access to a doctor. Its 25 Feb as I am writing it, and I am yet to be called in for a medical examination. With swollen wrists and other issues, I just wonder why are they doing it like this. After such a major incident nobody seems to be bothered and everybody is behaving as if nothing happened but I will come to explain that behaviour later.

Can psychological Trauma Occurs only to legal people?

After such a major incident, we were not offered any medical examination, no doctor no counselling. Yes it comes to the point that we are illegal immigrants, but we are not robots or objects to be thrown like bin paper as Home Office and Management at Heathrow IRC has done so. Nobody has asked a single thing about how we are, how we are feeling. I simply can’t believe it. Something like this may be common in the third world countries but UK? I am someone from a third world country who arrived in UK seeking new opportunities and I did manage to do things that I had planned but somethings just did not work out for me at the end of the day. But I always had a very high opinion of the institutions here and how they worked, always thought that no slight comparison could be made to the third world.

I was so wrong. My time in detention has opened a new world upon me that I never would have thought existed beforehand. Its is an underworld that you can’t see and feel unless you are taken by it. I have seen the drugs abuse at its highest, people getting beaten up by gangs over pool games, so much happening around officers all the time. Much of it just gets unnoticed because the management here turns a blind eye. Most of the detainees here are uneducated, from poor backgrounds and with inability to read or understand English they have no idea what their rights are and their feelings just get suppressed out of the fear of unknown.

So coming back to the incident, it was 15 Feb now. Most of us were not able to sleep any bits. We have all asked for doctors with all of us suffering from different symptoms and feelings of confusion. The Tascor said that immigration will see us to discuss the property losses and vice versa. We heard nothing from them.

Shocking discover – The big coverup

While going on a legal visit in the afternoon on 15 FEB, I had a friendly chat with an officer on my way back about the things I had gone through, what he told me just pulled the floor under my feet. He said that the  bus we were put on was leaking oil at the back and people knew about it. Tascor were also told about it but they said they know their jobs. It has simply left me distraught and inconsolable. I thought that there was a probability that it may not be an accident, but serious criminal negligence that could have cost me and my fellow detainees our lives. But I still thought that after such a big accident, police will certainly investigate and things would come.

On the night of 15 Feb, I attended a visit and again I had a chat with two officers at the end of it. One was white and one was Asian. I told them of what happened to me and again I was left speechless to hear the same thing from them. Both of them said that there was “puddle”of oil due to leakage at the back of the bus and had rainbows on it due to rain. One of them told me that even the managers at Heathrow IRC knew about it and in his own words, “The managers should not have let you detainees on that bus out of their duty of care towards you”. I asked them why have they not reported about it or written about it, or has there been any investigation about it in any way. They replied that no investigation is being done in that regard and they have not been asked to write anything about this.

I did not ask thier names out of concern that things can go to the managers who would simply quickly cover it up. For the whole night, I thought about calling the police telling them about information I gathered indicating crimainal neglegence but some thing just stopped me. I remember an incident a couple of months ago where an Indian guy was beaten up by gang of upto 15 people. Police was notified about the incident. He went on a hunger strike for a few days but nothing was done for him. He still has no idea if police even followed the case and has yet to recieve any updates regarding the case.

I was still unsure how to go about this situation. I went in the welfare to see a welfare officer on the morning of 16 Feb to ask about charities and solicitors to contact. He did confirm that the bus was burned due to fuel leak. When I asked if some body knew about, his attitude and manner seemed so calmed and told me that accidents occur. It is not an usual thing and it happened. I just cannot explain the feeling that I had noticing his cool demeanour as nothing significant has happened. The whole quiet around the issue, fed up media reports, no police ongoing investigation and us detainees not been given access to a doctor, it all feels like a big conspiracy to cover up a major incident.

It is very easy to investigate for police to see if people knew about it. The police can interrogate the reception staff present on that day, check the camera footage etc. I would personally help them identify the officers who told me about the fuel leak so they can be interviewed, because if its true, then Managers at Heathrow IRC, Tascor and all related parties are guilty of serous criminal negligence. They possibly did not put us on that bus for the airport but rather they sent us on the death ride knowing what it meant.

Lost Property

In that burning bus we lost everything that we had and owned. From mobile phones, personal contacts to birth certificates to educational certificates. The value attached to it cannot simply just be written on the paper. We were told that immigration would see us regarding this matter, but again what can I say. On the evening of 15 Feb, an officer came bearing gifts. He handed us a generic compliant form to fill in that you can get from welfare any time. The forms were to be put in the magical yellow complaint boxes, where they would reach Narnia and Aslan personally would deal with them, or so we thought. The forms could take up to eight weeks to process and I rejected them outright, but sensing that nobody give a damn of what happened to us, the way we have been treated, I am left with no other option than to fill up the form and file an official complaint though I am not sure if it will bear any output and it has not until now after being sent off for more than 9 days.

Thank You Home Office for the Courtesy

Home Office / Immigration simply has lot of surprises down their pocket. On the afternoon of 16 Feb some of us were called by immigration. We thought there surely comes a silver lining, but guess what, nobody asked how were we, no; the detainees were given new removal notices, in lay man terms, we were told that you could be thrown out of this country any moment now. Thank you Home Office for such consideration. I have heard stories about Genghis Khan, that his affection used to even out do his cruelty and in a sense his affection was even more cruel than cruelty itself, I must stand and clap for the Home Office this time as they certainly have broken their own cruelty records with no doctors, immigration officers first policy. Surely with such mighty resources at its disposal, Home Office could not have skipped this event yet no doctors; immigration officers first policy surely goes on to make a point. Prime Minister must surely be proud today as her dream of creating a “Hostile Environment” has surely been realized beyond her own imagination.

Lack of respect and priority for preservation of life shown by the involved parties is simply unbelievable. I am illegal and not having apiece of paper in the form of red passport testifies to it but I don’t need a passport to show that I have blood running through my veins, I can feel pain when pinched and above all I have a sense of what injustice means. If I am to be blamed for all the problems in UK and world wide then so be it, but just remember I have a life that is legal, that is mine and that I did not take from anybody or any country. My status may be illegal but my life surely is not.

Thus I would humbly request Home Office to be pushed to open a thorough investigation of what happened during the event when handcuffing us in the bus on fire was considered more important than the preservation of life and the open knowledge that is, everybody on reception that day knew about the fuel leak for that particular bus including the managers that day. Yet they let us go, putting 30 lives in danger. It is of utmost importance that these things be investigated as there was certainly criminal negligence there and the investigation itself won’t be difficult as all the evidence whether it be camera footage or the witnesses are present and known. It may bring some difficult moments for the Home Office themselves but it is democratic country with big institutions that could only stay big if they take and accept responsibility of what happens under their supervision.

I would also request for the police involvement as I am certain that there was criminal behaviour and negligence involved prior and during the event:

Police be requested to investigate:

Tascor must be investigated:

The handcuffing process that took place inside the bus on fire, wasting precious life saving time and breaching all forms of human rights traditions and defying the common sense itself. It was professional and criminal negligence at its highest. All the detainees are witnesses to this blunder and there must be camera footage as well as the bus we were travelling had CCTV cameras and Tascor may have central control system.

The question must also be asked why were we made to stand in the open rain with our handcuffs on for almost two hours, why?

Mitie/ Harmondsworth detention staff be investigated:

There was an oil leak beforehand and after having conversation with three different employees of Mitie. I have no doubt in my mind that everybody knew about the oil leak from our bus including the managers at Harmondsworth and drivers of the bus as well, but they simply did not care and put 30 lives in danger. That is criminal neglect at any given day in my opinion and police must investigate.

The behaviour of Mitie management must also be questioned. We went through a traumatising event, yet many of us were not given any medical attention at all. I personally have asked for doctors appointment on three different occasions yet here I am complaining about it. Why have they not given me access to a doctor immediately and why did I get a doctors appointment 13 days after the event.

Home Office / Immigration be asked questions:

It must be asked how much knowledge and information they had about the event and if they made any efforts to investigate such a deadly event on their own. They certainly knew about the event as they gave us the removal directions quite quickly but were they properly reported about the event by the involved parties or were they just fed with a heroic lifesaving fairy tale. In both scenario I am personally compel to question the HO internal controls and checks.


Everything that I have written and everything I am claiming is true. I will stand by it with the last drop of blood in my body. I am prepared to be questioned and interviewed in this regard.

We have kept quiet for far too long. Enough is enough. We have no faces, we don’t exist, we see the world through a narrow window from a different dimension altogether where Home Office is the judge, jury and the prosecutor. I have asked ourselves to be kept anonymous not because we are afraid, but because we were always no ones, we had no faces, and we want to fight this battle for all the no-ones who exist without existing.




Heathrow IRC
Colnbrook Bypass
West Drayton











They are taking us, the flight is tonight.

We have friends in Brook House, they are preparing them to go on the flight tonight but they don’t know what time or from where. No one has said anything to anyone Colnbrook. We heard from someone in Brook House. They are taking us, the flight is tonight. 

They are forcing us. On Tuesday the guy had me by my neck, pushing me pushing me. They took us at night, we have no idea where they re taking us. We were all terrified. Even if you want to go to the toilet on the coach someone goes with you. You spend your pennies and the guy can see your pennies. We are not children, we are not animals. 

For me they didn’t even give me removal directions. No official removal directions – we got the 10 days notice. I put in a Judicial Review to cancel my ticket but I’ve been told they can’t cancel the flight without removal directions. 

The Home Offce said i have no grounds to remain in UK. I have fiancé, we have been together for three years and I am a father to a child. I was released on the fact there is a child involved. The Home Office don’t care. The Home Office want to overlook this. I haven’t done anything wrong. Some of us have wives here, have children. We don’t want to leave our loved ones.

Last week this guy said he wouldn’t go. Two commanders came, one commander used his elbow in the guys back and he fell to the floor. They other put something in his arm. They came at night and they took him. They took him back to his country. He was shouting shouting and because of the injection he went unconscious and they took him like that. Why would you be wearing masks? They were wearing masks so you didn’t know who they were. 

Write it down – I am telling the truth. They don’t want the world to hear it thats why they are doing it in secret. We need you to do something today as well. Some of us are not ready to go. We have wives here, we have children.

You guys outside need to do something for us, you need to help us.

People must stand up against injustice. We are very proud of the protesters.

I seek asylum in 2013, my asylum got refused. I spent 5 months in Harmondsworth detention centre then I was released. I was signing for 3 years at the immigration reporting centre, then they detained me in Scotland. Then they release me, then I was detained again and they gave me removal directions for Ghana.

I am from Ivory Coast not Ghana. I told the Home Office I’m not Ghanaian. The Home Office told me I could take a bus from Ghana to the Ivory Coast. They said they cannot take me to Ivory Coast so I must go Ghana.

The doctor in the detention centre made a Rule 35 report that said I have been tortured in ivory coast but they did not release me from detention.

I am part of a church in Manchester, they found me a lawyer. My lawyer sent faxes to the detention centre to stop my deportation, but the guards did not give it to me. I did not get the documents from my lawyer until this morning.

I want the church to not close their eyes to us. Justice is from the bible. The church must not close its eyes to injustice. I am sending a message to the entire church- they cannot let injustice go on like this. The word of god is about justice and righteousness. The church cannot keep its eyes closed in the face of injustice. Closing your eyes to injustice is being part of injustice. Christ died for justice and righteousness. The church needs to stand up like to protesters- they need to tell the world what is going on.

Last night, they called me from my cell, to say I am going on the flight. They took all of my stuff. They searched me, they take my belongings, they wouldn’t give my stuff back to me. They said I could have my stuff when I get to Ghana. I have it back now. Some people on the bus just have a little plastic bag- how can you be deported with just a plastic bag?

They took us to the bus. I had 1 guard beside me. They tell me we are going to another airport- I didn’t know where. After more than 1 hour drive we arrived. They said we have a “little problem”, we did not know what was going on. Eventually they said the flight had been cancelled. I couldn’t see them but we heard there was a demonstration. Police were all around. I did not know what was going on.

When something is wrong people have to stand up. The problem is with the Home Office. No-one checks on them, they have absolute power over peoples lives. They do whatever they want. People must stand up against injustice. We are very proud of the protesters. We hope they are treated well. They did the right thing.

At about 1.30am they told us the flight had been cancelled.

I have been in the UK since 2010. In 2015 I claimed asylum, they asked me to sign at the immigration centre every week, later this was changed to once a month. I have done this until 2016, when I had an interview in Croydon. They refused my asylum, but the last thing the Home Office  said to me, is that they would not take me away from the UK. In February  2017, I was at home, I heard a knock at door, there were ten police officers, and 2 immigration officers. They took me to the police station, and from there to Colnbook detention centre. After 1 month they still did not release me.

I have a 3 month old baby. My baby was in hospital for 1 month when I was in the detention centre. After 1 month, they gave me removal directions to Nigeria for the 28th of March. I contacted my solicitor they sent information about my situation to the Home Office but they ignored it.

If they take me back to Nigeria- what about my 3 month old baby? My partner is HIV positive, she is not working- she has to look after the baby, because of her medical condition, she can not cope without me. She is crying everyday. What happens if I am deported away?

Last night, they called my name around 5pm to get on the coach and go to Stansted airport. Once we got to Stansted, the officer’s told us there was a “small delay”. We couldn’t see the protesters from the coach. On the bus there was 1 guard to each person. You need 2 guards to go with you to toilet on the coach, they come into the toilet with you. There were maybe 30 people were on the coach. The were different coaches from different detention centres. The guards did not tell us what was happening. At about 1.30am they told us the flight had been cancelled. We got back to the detention centre at about 4.30am.

We are very happy about the protesters. Now we want to be released. We are not criminal. I never committed any crime.

If anyone can help us to get released from detention we will be really happy.

My ex-husband said he knows I am being deported next week. He is waiting for me. He is planning to kill me.

I am in immigration detention. I have been in Yarls Wood, the women’s detention centre since September. I claimed asylum which was refused because of my sexuality. I am a lesbian which is not ok in Nigeria . I appealed, which was also refused. My lawyer has put in a second appeal to the Home office, and I am waiting. I have heard nothing back from them. My sister, who lives in London went to my MP’s office. My MP has called the Home Office but they ignored her. My lawyer is working to help me in my situation. But I have still heard nothing from the Home Office, instead they have given me a deportation ticket for next week.

Last week my friend called from Nigeria, she is looking after my 4 children in Nigeria. My ex husband called her , he is trying to take my children away from her. She has been forced to leave their home with my children. My ex-husband said he knows I am being deported next week. He is waiting for me. He is planning to kill me.

I have been in uk for 6 years. I had to leave Nigeria because I was scared of my husband. I was forced to marry him in an arranged marriage. My husband is trying to kill me, he has reported to the police that I am coming. They are all waiting for me. My lawyer has given me a letter to show to the guards at the airport. It says- I still have case with Home Office, and that my husband will kill me if I am deported.

I don’t want to go on that plane. I can’t go.

I have been living a miserable life since I was born, because I have to hide my sexuality. I cannot be free. I thought in UK I would be able to be lesbian and live free. But now they are trying to deport me to a country where I will not be safe because of my sexuality.

Since I have been in detention two of my children cannot go to school. Because I cannot work and send them, money. I send my children to school, without my husband helping. He doesn’t give them any money. If he kills me- who will I look after my children? They rely on me.

They should give me and my children a life. They should spare my life because of my children. I am begging.

If they take me back to Ghana I will kill myself.

I came to this country in 1999, to be with my brother and my sister. I have a wife here. I have been in this country for almost 18 years.In 2012 I applied as an over-stayer. The Home Office didn’t respond. Nothing. I waited. I checked with my solicitor and they still have no response from the Home Office. I reported my situation to my MP in Peckham, London, they wrote the Home Office for me. They said they had spoken to the Home Office, but still I heard nothing back from them. I waited another 2 months and went again to my MP. Again they wrote to them. Still I heard nothing, In 2015, 3 years later, the Home Office wrote to me saying I had been refused. Why? I have been here long time, I have family here.

After I was refused the home Office told me to report at the immigration centre every 2 weeks. I did this. One day I didn’t go to report, because my sister had passed away in Birmingham. I wrote to them to tell them I would miss one week. The Home Office was not OK with this. They called me and told me to go to the immigration centre in Croydon. I went to Croydon and they interviewed me for a long time. After the interview they gave me a ticket to go back to Ghana for THAT night, at 10pm. I went with them to the airport, though I had no money and non of my things with me. The officer offered my £20 to return to Ghana with- are they insulting me?! I cannot return to a place I haven’t been for 15 years with £20. My ticket for the flight was cancelled. But I was not released, instead they took my to the detention centre.

The way they are treating us is in the detention centre is very, very bad. The toilets haven’t been cleaned for over a week- they are disgusting. The food is very bad. They know the food is not good. Last night they just gave me bread and rice, no sauce, nothing. When you go to the healthcare here- you have to queue for over 1 hour, just for painkillers.

On Wednesday they give me another ticket to Ghana. Now they have given me a ticket for the charter flight next week.

What do the they expect me to do? They are trying to deport me when I don’t have one penny in my pocket. How can I leave me wife in this country? How can I leave my brother and his children in this country? My family and my life is here in the UK. If they take me back to Ghana I will kill myself.

I have been in this country for almost 18 years. I have applied for asylum because I am not safe to go back there. The Home Office know this, I have given them all of my evidence. I have no criminal record, no contact with the police. Just the Home Office making problems. The Home Office don’t respect me. They don’t listen to me. They don’t listen to my wife. It is not OK to treat people like this.

The Home Office don’t follow the laws of this country. We all follow the law, but they don’t. It is not fair.