Statement from Dungavel Hunger Striker – Adel Aboulkacem

“I want to be released please, so I can be with my family and lawyer before my appeal. I need to bring my partner and kids together to go to this appeal. They told me to bring my family to the appeal but how I can do that when I’m inside?

I’m trying to support my family from inside by working, I want to look after my kids, I want they to have a good life. They are struggling to pay bills and clothes without me there. My daughter and son need new shoes and I’m stuck here. You cannot clap with one hand, you need two hands, and that’s me and my partner. What can I do, they are killing me here. They are keeping people for a long time here, for no reason. Any other country in Europe its three months. Here it could be weeks, months, years. I know one man here who is four years in detention, it is ridiculous, he has two kids.

Being in detention, they try and make you calm down buts impossible, its not right. They wont let us on the internet, or to read the newspaper. They are pushing you to do something bad to yourself. To kill yourself or harm yourself. There is lots of fighting and drugs.

Please if people can support me or protest I would support it, because everyday something happens here and its driving everyone mental. Someone got on top of the building today, and tried to jump, he said ‘you want to kill me’. They have been taking people by force, people have lost their lives here. They have been here so long, for making one mistake. Everyone has one mistake in their lives, but my mistake is costing me my life. I had a seven week prison sentence, and I’ve been eight months in detention. I’ve done more detention than prison! I dont know what it looks like outside any more.”

 

[reposted from Unity Centre’s solidarity petition]

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I’ve been here 40 days in Dungavel detention centre

I’ve been here 40 days in Dungavel detention centre. They’re not doing anything to help me. I have refugee status in Ireland in Dublin. I’ve been here for about 4 and half years. I was on a student visa and I have some trouble in my country. I moved to Ireland and got status. Then I came to see my friend in Belfast and the police got me. I told the police I had refugee status but they didn’t listen to me and they took me here to Scotland. Immigration here are saying they are waiting for a reply from Ireland. I’ve spoken to Ireland but they say they can’t help me because I’m outside the country. They say you need to contact a solicitor and they will help you. But they’re saying they shouldn’t detain you because you have refugee status. I’ve been here for 40 days to be honest that’s a long time.

There are still 15 people going

They are calling everyone and threatening everyone that they will send them away. They don’t have the beds. They cannot deny that the strike is going on – we have the papers to prove it. The papers are signed by them and they’re asking question why we are doing the strike and saying we are eating in rooms. We said no comment to everything. Things are moving here. The Scottish trade union V the secretary is coming to see us. He has sent a letter to the centre and the Home Secretary but they are not responding. A lot of people have dropped out but this is this the time things are happening. There are still 15 people going because some people couldn’t take it. The good thing is that they can’t deny it because they have given us the papers.

I’m not eating

I’m not eating and the officers are telling me they are going to move me from Dungavel. They say that to everyone who is doing protest. They are trying to scare us. They don’t tell us where. No other centre will take me after the protest.

We are on hunger strike since last Tuesday. I think we are around 20 to 25 people, maybe more. We are very upset!

They can’t send us back. Some people have very bad situations in their countries. So they have to do something with us. That is what we are trying to do.

The home office doesn’t talk with us. Only the officers in here are trying to scare us.

We want the home office to do something with us!

I’ve been in detention for 10 Month. I went to bail 4 times, the judge refused me.

This place is harder then prison, because in prison at least you know when you get out. But not in here! Some people have been detained for 2 to 3 years.

For how long are they going to keep us in here? I want to know that!

There are some people in Dungavel

There are some people in Dungavel who have stopped eating and are protesting against the home office. They are not going to the kitchen. It’s not in human rights law what the Home Office is doing. They do everything to remove people – you have people here will families. They are destroying them. We have people here for two years. Two years. Can you believe it.

We have started like 50 people – what they have done is started scaring us. “We’ll put it in your file. We’ll log your phone. Well put someone with you for 24 hours. You can’t do this, we are the power here. They said they will move you if you take part.” How can we do peaceful protest? There is no one who can stop them.

The people know what happened here. If people are happy about what is going on here. Why can’t I protest, and why can’t I talk. If you are in prison, you know when you’re going out. But here, you can’t know. This is in the UK!

My story is very funny. I was married since 2012 with a French woman. I sent my application in 2014 and they asked for an interview. And they arrested me at the interview in Liverpool. They said I was overstaying – but I came here with my wife? They said my marriage is sham. They said that without even finishing the interview with my wife. He started telling her to leave the UK in 2 days. She was threatened with arrest. I have been arrested with no reason. I believed in the Home office and the law in the UK but since I don’t believe in it. I believed in it for nothing. I’ve never done anything wrong. And then to be put in Scotland 6 hours away from my family. And on the way, in the van, he said if you need to piss I will give you a bag. There were 5 people in the van and they couldn’t let me out. It’s not human – I felt like an animal.

There are about 70 people are still protesting in Dungavel.

There are about 70 people are still protesting in Dungavel. They are refusing to go to the kitchen to eat. There was a protest from people outside. There was the police and STV. We can’t really see them because of the walls but it is good to hear them. It shows the message is getting across, what we are trying to achieve.

Around 60 people have been on a foodstrike in Dungavel

Around 60 people have been on a foodstrike since Monday in Dungavel. They are not eating because they are upset at the way they have been treated for a long time. W want to see the immigration minister and we want to talk about a lot of things that have gone wrong. There are lot of things to ask:

  1. Why are the case workers telling lies. In bail summaries they tell lies.
  2. We want a time limit on how long you can detain people.
  3. Obviously, most of the people are from London and we are near Glasgow. About 80% are a from London and so we are away from your families and friends. It’s hard to drive and very expensive.
  4. The conditions we are living in – 8 people in one room. Too many people in one room.

Someone has already been to hospital and they’ve put him in a secure room for monitoring.