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. 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.
It’s great that there are people doing a protest for us. I really appreciate their help. At least they are listening and trying to do something. The people who are doing the protest are doing something really important. This is about our rights.
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.
URGENT – TODAY – 24 November 2015. Stop Charter Flight to Nigeria tonight. Demonstrate 1:00pm, Nigerian High Commission, 9 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5BX (near Trafalgar Square & Charing Cross Station). Stop Home Office plan to deport 2,900 Nigerians. End Nigerian Government’s collusion with mass deportations.
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.
I was there on Saturday. The ladies were really psyched about the demonstration outside. I was one of the people getting people together. I have been outside with Movement for justice when I was out.
It gives people so much hope. The more people that shows up at the demonstration, the more hope that is given to people in here. The more ladies were gathering inside, the more officers were hanging around. This was quite intimidating for the ladies. The ladies would come out from the rooms where they could see the protesters. The officers were saying we should get down from the tables and stop shouting. They were saying they would be put in trouble.
They had set up bingo for the time of the protest and the door is locked the whole time for bingo. So you can’t go outside and see the protest. A few people went. Some people think that the Serco people are going to help them get released. They get scared.
There is one woman, she doesn’t take nonsense from the officers. She will talk back to them. They are always searching her, they don’t give her a break. If they see you hanging around her then the officers say why are you hanging around her? It will go on your file. They don’t like seeing us with her. These things scared people.
From my side on Dove I could say around 50 ladies saw the protest and around 30 were participating with them shouting. But there were also people from the other units who saw it.
The protest was a sort of empowerment. Some people didn’t know about protests but when they saw it they were moved. They kept saying that this is good, this is good. It gives me courage to go on and maybe one day one time they will be closed down.
This is my second time in Yarl’s Wood. When you get to detention centre the first time I hated the fact I was locked up. I was there for 7 months. That time messed me up so much, even when I was outside. The second time is worse. It was harder than before because I was released for three months and now I’m back. It makes me feel that I didn’t do much. For the first 1 and half month of being released, I was still trapped. I didn’t go out, I only went out for appointments. I used to feel that they were watching me like the cameras and the officers. It was weird. I wasn’t able to do anything for my case and I feel like I wasted that time because these things time. People don’t deserve to be in here.
There are different women in here, with different cases and different issues and they’re all put in the same place. And people harm themselves. And even those who don’t think of that, they see it and get scared. It doesn’t make sense. It is a weird place to be in.
People are protesting outside for us. They know about the inside conditions – that people are not criminals. Everyone is here is according to law and the judge and the immigration officers are making conspiracy. And most people they are refusing. You don’t exist from here. Twitter, youtube, most of the sites are blocked from here.
We want to respond to the protest. We want to join the protests. So people were outside for 15 minutes in the yard. We were shouting with the people outside. We were clapping and shouting “freedom, freedom”. And then the officers come and say they have to come inside otherwise the big security officers would come to force us. So everyone moved inside.
The officers find everyone who is shouting and active inside. They take them one by one and pressing them. And tell them if you do this your case will be damaged. So be quiet, be relaxed. So they are individually pressing people. If they come to a group they shout but they speak individually. So nobody can speak loud. Because everyone wants to speak.
The legal aid solicitors are not doing well. I’ve been trying to call my solicitor for nearly 25 days and I haven’t been able to speak to her. She has been paid by the government to fight my case but she hasn’t done anything for me. She just makes paper work and finishes. It’s not fair, inside immigration can do anything in that time. It’s not fair because we are in a prison. She has to come to us and listen to us.