We in Yarl’s Wood are very grateful to the demonstrators who will attend the protest here today, we are holding a day of hunger to show solidarity with our supporters.

We in Yarl’s Wood are very grateful to the demonstrators who will attend the protest here today, we are holding a day of hunger to show solidarity with our supporters.

We believe we are wrongly imprisoned indefinitely, and we would like to first secure the release of the most vulnerable detainees, and those who have been detained beyond what is a reasonable time, whatever that may be, as there seems to be nothing reasonable when it comes to the Home Office procedure of detention.

It is difficult to keep our spirits up as this whole place is set up to systematically break you down in every way that a person can be, however the support we have received from such NGO’s as SOAS, SDS, Detained Voices, Women for Refugee Women, Medical Justice, BID, Black Women’s Rape Action Project, The L.G.B.T community as well as some MP’s has been very helpful not only practically but also emotionally and we thank you.

We will continue with our fight for freedom, basic human rights, and a fair due process until all the injustices we are subjected come to an end

Thank you

Yarl’s Wood strikers

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This whole thing started out of desperation and frustration and a deep sense of injustice felt by myself and others.

This whole thing started out of desperation and frustration and a deep sense of injustice felt by myself and others. We needed a voice and more importantly we needed someone to listen. We needed to be reminded that we are human beings because trust me when I say most of us are so dehumanised by this process of detention and the way we are treated in detention that you start to forget.

Every day is a battle, personally I have to think of a reason to go on living every day, to go on fighting, to not give up. I have moments when I do give up and feel so sorry for myself that I consider letting them deport me.

Just one problem, I honestly don’t feel like I have another country, it’s not like I’ve had an easy life here, quite the opposite, but it’s still my home. I don’t identify with any other nationality and I’m having an identity crisis, I don’t know where I belong anymore. I feel like I’m about to be exiled.

I would rather die in Britain than live in the country they want to send me to.

I worry about what is happening to her I hope she is safe. It’s really bothering me.

I keep thinking about my friend *****,

She was deported to India on Saturday, after escaping her family who were persecuting her because she wouldn’t agree to a forced marriage and married for love instead and out of cast. She suffered terrible abuse before escaping to Britain. She studied and worked here for 7 years, she made a life for herself here and even though she was abandoned by her husband she did ok here.

She wanted to claim asylum but was given bad legal advice and withdrew her claim as she was told to claim asylum when you are being removed and instead the lawyer took her money for other applications which were bound to be unsuccessful.

When she tried to claim asylum before she was removed they told her that she could not, is that even legal? Who knows what’s legal anymore? I certainly don’t.

I worry about what is happening to her I hope she is safe. It’s really bothering me.

I feel I am being threatened and patronised because of the protest

Yarls Wood IRC
Bedford

On the 2/3/18, I was summoned to the Legal Home Office department to meet the Immigration Enforcement Manager Fiona Quaynor, I met her in the presence of her teammate (another) home office officer. I do not recall his name but he is Indian.

I was told by Fiona I am going to be interviewed by them especially because I am on the hunger strike protest in Yarl’s Wood over Home Office injustices and unfairness. They asked me if I was fit to do the interview to which I replied it’s ok we can proceed. Fiona explained to me that the interview was being done because I had refused food and fluids and that it was Home Office procedure to carry out the interview.

The interview kicked off and a number of questions were asked:

  • Why was I hunger striking?
  • What are my demands
  • Do I have a solicitor, etc.

After answering the questions, Fiona read out to me what I considered conditions or repercussions of me being on hunger strike and asked me if I understood what she was reading out.

I was reassured that because I was on hunger strike it didn’t mean that;

  • My case would be favoured, it will take its due course
  • It will not lead to me being granted permission to stay in the UK
  • That it didn’t mean that my removal directions would be deferred
  • That it will not lead to the progress of my immigration or Asylum case being altered or delayed
  • That it will not lead to me being released.

To mention but a few, above is what I remember.

I am very upset till today that I feel I am being threatened and patronised because of the protest. It made me feel very upset, distressed and I feel sad and depressed that indirectly we/I am being punished for hunger striking and protesting. What happened to human rights, freedom of speech and expression? Should we just keep quiet when we are not happy and pretend like everything is alright?

Is it because I am a prisoner that cannot speak out and air out my opinions and views? Is this how Britain welcomes immigrants? This is very unfair to us and I hope one day that this country, Home Office and government will protect vulnerable immigrants and refugees.

All I need is to be safe from my pursuits from my family in Uganda, it has not been a safe journey in my life especially since coming out that I am gay, but now I feel I am being punished by the one country that should give me protection. I cannot return to my country for fear of my life, it’s one of the top countries that prosecute LGBTQ people.

I am already feeling scared, frightened and I am always under the weather for being rejected by my husband’s family, community, workmates and friends. I fear for my dear life on a daily.

So trying to patronise me because I am protesting for a change that directly affects makes me feel even more anxious and angry every day.

In most questions, I told the Home Office they have a right to do whatever they want to do because I cannot control them and neither do I make their policies. I just pray for fairness and justice to prevail when it comes to my case. I lean on the hope in God that never disappoints. Only God knows destiny, no man can change what God has planned for me.

No matter what happens, let me be remembered as a Uganda Detainee that was fighting for the vulnerable and mistreated asylum seekers.

One day we shall all rest and leave this wicked world, God is in charge of our lives, Home Office can decide and throw us back in the den of lions but God shall save us.

In Healthcare, I was asked to sign a document that take away the duty of care of my health from Healthcare.

The Doctor asked me to sign so Healthcare doesn’t have to be liable for my health.

“In case any health hazard happens to you, maybe you faint or at the verge of death, if you can sign the document, we shall not touch you.”  In other words, I will have to die and healthcare, Serco and Home Office will not be liable. I refused to sign. Where is the humanity and compassion from these people that are meant to take care of us. It’s ridiculous and very frustrating.

Currently I am still on hunger strike and eating snow as I feel that’s all I want to eat right now. I am angry I feel I am not wanted in this country, let the Home Office and the Home Secretary kill me here in the UK, than returning me to a death trap in Uganda.

 

So to give you an update on the events regarding our strike

Hello

So to give you an update on the events regarding our strike.

Well the first day was a great success and the second less successful, as officers do their best to dissuade people from taking part, and many are scared this will affect their individual cases.

I know that the Home Office work tirelessly to deport people no matter what their circumstances, what they may or may not do, I am sick of feeling like a helpless institutionalised victim and refuse to participate in detention.

From Monday the core group of activists will not work for £1 an hour in their kitchens or gardens, we refuse to help them detain us, we say better you pay someone with a work permit a living wage to do your immoral work.

We are not happy here and we don’t want to use your gym, we don’t want to go to your library, your salon, your shop, these are all token activities you use to justify our incarceration but know that we want our freedom not your silly limited activities.

We are not your guests, we are your captives whom you choose when to detain and when to release and when to deport.

I just want to add that I believe whenever there are breakdowns in society mostly of a financial kind, then there must be a scapegoat, usually the most visibly different section of society and they are blamed for the lack of investment in infrastructure, for bleeding the economy when in fact they could never sponge as much as the tax dodging super rich and the lords who go to parliament for half an hour and “sign on” so they get paid for work they do not do. Not to mention the banks, so please remember and learn from the history you have written that today you will help them take my liberties and tomorrow they will use that help to take yours.

Thank you

From an angry foreigner who was made in Britain