They are turning a blind eye to why we are on hunger strike

They are turning a blind eye to why we are on hunger strike. They just want us to eat, not even eat just they need your finger to scan so they count us for the dinner. They don’t care if we eat but they are loosing money. If it doesn’t go their way they go against us. They are not happy. When the food is not eaten they are loosing. So they just want your finger so they can say you have eaten. They do not care about our well being here. Even if you want to buy things from the shops you have to use the biometrics with your hands.

They said I am not eating so they won’t give me my medication. 

They said it is from above, why they locked us up on Saturday. They haven’t explained it to us.

The night officer kicked the door, as if he was a wild animal to shut the door. It is so hot in here and we needed some air. I was in my room naked because it was so hot it was the only way to get some air. I was naked in my room and he came in and turned his body camera on. He is a male officer he shouldn’t even be here. 

This is the 21st century and this is being done. You don’t treat any one like this. We have been working, paying taxes, contributed to the society. Why they have to bring mothers here, sisters, aunties. Our rights and our dignity are being taken away from us. They say they are security and are here to protect us but they are not protecting us. They are abusing us. 

We are striking because of the way we are being treated here.

We have put in a complaint and people have signed it and we were planning on doing a hunger strike already from Monday but we brought it forward because of what happen on Saturday. 

They say why do people do the protests outside when nothing has been happening. No one is released and nothing changes. If they really think that why did they lock us up. What is your fear? People come and stand outside in the rain and travel from all over the country to support us we need to show our support. If they really think that why do they put more officers on? Why are they so afraid?

We have decided to go on hunger strike

We have decided to go on hunger strike. It was a last minute thing because of what they have done to us. They have locked us up. In all the units we are on hunger strike. We are not sure how long for. If we have to go tomorrow we will as well. We are entitled to do a peaceful demonstration. It is our right, it is our freedom of speech. 

From 1:30 when the protestors are coming up. They locked us up they up and they didn’t want us to shout out to the protestors through the window. We are locked up already in this centre and they lock us up again inside. They didn’t want us to shout out – we are on the other side of the building from the protestors. They lock us in Crane. The women in Dove are locked in Dove. Avocet as well. We all have to stay in our units. This is the first time they have done this. 

Why are they frightened if they think they have nothing to hide? Why are they panicking like that?

There are so many officers, some of them area between the units, some are in the corridors, monitors and officers to keep an eye that you don’t even shout and you don’t even do anything. They have never done this before.

We want to appreciate the people to show us support but we were locked up. We are being treated like objects and not human being.

We will know what the outcome is today and see if we have to go tomorrow. 

We ask them why did they lock us up. It is our freedom of speech. it is our right. We want an answer.

We would like to see an end to indefinite detention. 

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

They don’t give you a ticket, they give you a window of time. They say, ‘You will go within these three days, or five days.’ They changed this about a month ago. Why is this? Because we would call our solicitors straight away and stop the flight. As I am talking there is a woman next door who is supposed to be taken to the airport today, deported to Pakistan. There were supposed to be 15 women deported yesterday, to Nigeria. There was a flight stop about two months ago, people refused to go. We grouped up for three days in one room, refused to eat and everything, and the charter flight didn’t happen. So now they takes one by one into isolation so we can’t be in solidarity and stop the flight together. The bus comes, the bus is called ‘THE JOURNEY BEGINS HERE’. That is the name of bus that takes the women. This bus took the women to Stansted Airport for a charter flight to go to Nigeria and Ghana. We really fear for our safety here. Our experiences here leave us with depression, sleep disruption and mental health. We are like zombies.

It really reminds us of the history you read about slaves. When they used to take people and put them in the ships, to take them and go and sell them. Now, they are doing this here. Yarls Wood is a slave ship. They take you from here and put you on a charter flight. The G4S, the owners of this place, they get a lot of money when they deport people out of the country. There was a woman here who wanted to go, her daughter bought her a ticket to leave but they didn’t like this because they don’t get all the money from it. They took their time to let her go, but when they want to deport you they move quickly, because they get money from it.

When you look in Yarls Wood there is no white person in here, we are all Indian, Chinese and African. It is racism. They don’t want any people of colour in this country. There are white Zimbabweans who are claiming asylum but they can do it outside. We are treated as animals. One officer said to us they get £300 a week for each of us.

The people in the Mediterranean, we are like this. This is our ship, we are drowning. We don’t have life jackets, we need lifejackets. Our life jackets are you people out there. Please help us.

I have been in England 20 years, I paid my taxes, paid my NI. My back is hurt from lifting older people, working with disabled children. I worked with all my heart. There is one woman here who is 87 years old. An Indian woman. Would you do this to your Grandmother? She cant even walk. If there was a Yarls Wood in Africa it would be all over the news. But it is happening in England and so nobody knows about it. The laws in England remain the most barbaric in the EU.

Out there they don’t know about people in here. We left our family outside. Our children are outside, our husbands are outside. The young girls here just got married and they left their husbands outside. They are breaking up families.

It is like we are in prison, these women have never done anything wrong. We left torture, we ran from rape. Then you think you are running away England where you can be safe.

We really need help in here. this places needs to be shut down. They are depriving us of our liberty. We came to England to be safe. Hearing that if you come to England you will be safe. You are running away from murders and torture, some people have had all their families murdered.

We are not terrorists. We are not harming anyone. There are people who have been killing people who are given bail. We haven’t hurt anyone. They lie, they say you are a threat to society. I am not a killer. Where are we to turn to for help? The whole world needs to know. Tell the BBC. They call it ‘Notorious Yarls Wood’, and it is notorious.

Please help us, they are just taking us and throwing us in the planes.

We all will continue this protest for 3 days

Hello sir,

in my centre I get information about all this things that the Detention centres should by shutdown, my and my other friends how are in this centre started protest yesterday and all day we didn’t eat anything, and the big news is one of boy he attempt suicide yesterday in afternoon, that boy was in our room, the officers says that he was in so worried about his case that’s wye he do like this but we know that even he didn’t eat anything for 4 days and not even one officer come and ask him and not help him why he doing like this, no one come in our room to check him because they have all information about everybody about food.

We all will continue this protest  for 3 days, but we also hopeless either the government will do something for us because inside the Centre we cant trust to any of the staff member, there behaviour is like they are kings and we are slaves. If we ask for something for help with anything they cant behave like to helpful. they act like they didn’t received no wages and all they do there jobs like charity. And all they are doing and also giving food and medicines from there own pocket.

There are so many detainees here for more than 10 months and some of 7 months and some of 6 months even most of them are without any risen they didn’t apply for any case not for Asylum not for bail nothing anything else but after a long time they spend here the Home Office release them, and mostly detainees they apply for Asylum including me the Home Office didn’t do anything for them and they are struggling with the non human behaviour of staff.

Day by day everybody becoming like mentally ill.

And if someone want to apply for case the home Office ask for money, this is a common sense that a person have no right to work and how he can pay a big fee for his legal right for his case, and inside the centre if someone want to work then Home Office pay them £1 per hour, how can it right a person work like this and pay a lot fee for his case, its means that person need to work for life time to pay his fee, same as if a detainee want his medical report from inside the Health and Care they tell to pay £10 for that, and they refuse to check someone because they says we have only 2 Doctors here, how can only 2 Doctors can check 600 peoples in one centre.

Same person not allowed work outside but allowed work inside. why somebody spend his precious time of his life for nothing.

We have a big hope about you, and you can help us .
thank you so much.

Kind Regard.

I’m calling from Harmondsworth and I am talking to you on behalf of most of the detainees here.

I’m calling from Harmondsworth and I am talking to you on behalf of most of the detainees here. They are sitting by me and all are together. There are about 60 people around here.

Most people are suffering from medical and mental problems like depression and anxiety. I feel myself feelings of suffocation and depressions and bad dreams. A lot of us are on sleeping pill prescribed by the doctor here.

About 90% of people are on medication for anxiety. A lot people have experience torture before coming here and they have told the doctors and the home office is not accepting the reports of the certified doctor here.

I am a witness to two detainees who need urgent medical attention. And the nurse said they were creating a drama.

The way that the home office is treating us is very unlawful and unfair. Regarding bail and temporary admission – Most of us have applied for bail 4 or 5 times. But every time they are refusing with the same objections.

Most detainees have family out there who are really worried about them. They have partners and kids and a few of their wives are pregnant. They are very worried about them. Most detainees that have family outside are being told by the home office and the authorities that they shouldn’t worry about their kids. But of course they still worry about them. How can someone else take care of them. Nothing is like a father.

The home office is giving people tickets on a weekly basis. Most of them have pending cases in the court but the home office is trying to push them back to other countries while the case is still pending. Most of the cases are asylum and judicial review cases. When there are cases in the court you should send people like that.

A lot of people are here for more than 5 months. Their cases are really on the slow tracks and the home office aren’t communicating with them.

The food is not good. The environment is shit and it is very scary. People are selling drugs on every wing. I’ve never seen drugs like this in my life and people are pushing us to have them.

This is not a way to treat normal people. A lot of us came here with a valid visa and they should release us so we can face our cases out there. I am calling you, and I am on hunger strike. Just imagine, just walk in my shoes once. You have a normal life and then they detain you. Take you away from your family and your kids. It’s not normal. If you’re going to detain you like an animal – how can you expect them to live a normal life. It’s going to be ruining their lives for ever. I’ve spoken to people who have been released and they are still suffering from hypertension, depression and anxiety because this memory is going to be their worst part of their life.



They want me to be scared of my enemy? Im not scared of my enemy! Who’s immigration?!

What happened on Saturday – we never see it in the news. And yesterday it was very very hard and the immigration officer was right here in the landing and they locked everyone up who was protesting. Not a normal officer in the landing, he was the head of immigration officers. He was in the landing he was writing the women names down that were protesting and it will probably be sent to immigration. We speak to him, ‘Why are you coming to our rooms? Why are you writing us down?’ The came into my room and said I had three t-shirts and I was only allowed one. I said they are my t-shirts, my t-shirts I can have 10 t-shirts if i want. It is not Yarl’s Wood’s t-shirt, it is mine they have no right to come into my room and take my t-shirt. They were recording me with a video camera. They told me they were recording me, I said thats fine they can record me. Protests are not illegal, we are just protesting. Anyone can protest, its not a crime. If people are not happy about something they can protest. They said they were recording me, I said ‘for what?’ They are not supposed to be in my room in the first place. These people who we don’t even know, they are outside supporting us. You want me to be scared because there is an officer in my room? These people are here to support us and I need to support them too. They want me to be scared of my enemy? Im not scared of my enemy! Who’s immigration?! 

They are putting everything in my file, it is definitely going to be there. They are trying to make me look bad person to go in my file and make be look bad in front of the judge. I saw a girl who was going to hospital and I asked if they were handcuffed. They handcuff the girls who are protesting. They handcuff me when they take me to hospital. They are looking for an excuse and say my behaviour is not acceptable cos I shout ‘FREEDOM FREEDOM’ when I go to hospital. 

They say I am encouraging th other girls to do protest. I am not encouraging anyone to protest. These girls are not 15, they are women. They are trying to put it in my file that i am head of the protest but I’m not. 

I feel discriminated. I was very surprised they were in the landing. They know I was in prison for violence and they are trying to make me look like a bad person. I haven’t been violent since I’ve been here. I feel very discriminated against. I am stressed and sad. 

Everybody is in the corridor. Every family.

Everybody is in the corridor. Every family. No family is in their room. In hummingbird wing in Yarl’s Wood. It’s the family unit. We have 36 families – 36 couples. Husband and Wife. Everybody has problems. We decided to do a small strike. They have put a note on the complaint book but they didn’t reply. Everybody is suffering in Yarl’s Wood. They have families outside. They don’t listen about the emotional outcomes of it. In my case, my grandmother is alone. I’ve told temporary admission twice – she is doing toilet in bed – but they don’t listen, they don’t release me. But everyone has problems. We’ve been in here more than 60 days.

The officers came to say we should eat. We said we’re not eating today, take the food back.

We have lots of support from people outside. They came here standing in the rain. So we support them as well. They know our problems – they want to support us.

There are lots of people with healthcare problems. They go to the nurse and they are very rude to them. Everyone is given paracetamol. They only take action when it increases or we are going to die. But other’s no point.

[chanting in background: “We have everybody in the corridor – and don’t go in the room”]

I’ve been in Yarl’s Wood for a year. I lost everything.

I’ve been in Yarl’s Wood for a year. I lost everything. I was arrested by immigration 4 years ago. My husband was disabled – I asked to be able to look after my husband but they wouldn’t let me. They said I would run away. Where am I going to run to? I have no where to go. I asked them to arrange people to look after him but they wouldn’t. He was a British man. Then my husband died six weeks after I was arrested. I don’t know where even he is buried now. And now they want to send me back. I’m an orphan and now they make me a widow. I need fight for justice. They make me depressed but I need to fight for justice. They killed my husband.  Where is the justice? I’m scarred of my life. I’m scarred. My life has been trashed. I don’t want to even talk about it.

We stayed out until almost 2 o’clock. Very late.

We stayed out until almost 2 o’clock. Very late. They were busy counting us outside. They were begging us to come in but we didn’t come back. They wanted to count us inside but they had to count us outside. And we were mixing around so they kept on messing the counting. They wanted us to stay still. They have to stop counting us, we are human beings. You’re not supposed to count us. We didn’t eat. Most of us didn’t go in. We’re going at 12 o’clock back out. We’ll be there.

One of the women passed out at 10 o’clock and they took her to healthcare. She’s back in her room now. The IMB woman came to check on her this morning. She cannot remember what happened yesterday. She can’t talk, she’s confused. The woman is sick, she’s tired. She’s here, she can’t even walk. We have to support her. Why is it like this?