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Women behind the Wire on hunger srike (United Kingdom, February 2010)

Women behind the Wire on hunger srike (United Kingdom, February 2010)

Women behind the Wire on hunger srike

Since the 5th of February 2010, we the residents at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre are on hunger strike which involves over 84 + women, who are protesting against the period of time spent in detention and the treatment that they receive while being detained.

The strike was sparked to protest and demand that the frustration and humiliation of all foreign nationals ends now.

We are demanding the following actions

*End the frustrations, physical and mental torture at the centre

*Allow enough time and make resources available to residents who need to fully present their cases.

*To end all false allegations and misrepresentations by the UKBA regarding detainees in order to refuse bail or temporary admissions.

*Access to appropriate medical treatment and care as in the community, access to edible and well cooked food, phones with good mobile connections, with camera and recording facilities to back up cases.

*To stop the forceful removal and degrading system of deportation of detainees

*To put law into practise, European rules governing standard of conditions of detention for migrants and asylum seekers and the length of time in detention.

*The abolition of detention for asylum seeker and torture victims

*Detention should be by a standard procedure prescribed by law, authorised by judicial authority and be subjected to periodic judicial reviews.

*To end the detention of children and their mothers, rape survivors and other torture victims, to end the detention of physically, mentally sick people and pregnant women for long period of time.

*To end the separation of children from their mothers being detained whether in detention or destitution.

*To end the detention of women detention after serving time in prison.

* To abolish the fast track system, in order to give asylum seekers a fair chance with their application, while understanding the particular needs of victims of torture, and access to reliable legal representation which the fast track system denies.

*To end the repeat detention of women granted temporary admission while reporting or signing after a short period out of detention.

*To a set period of time allowed to detain women, which should be no longer than 1 month, while waiting decision either from UKBA or court proceedings.

*Finally instead of detention of foreign nationals, there are alternatives to detention stated by the *Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). ’The detention of asylum seekers and irregular migrants in Europe ’, Adopted on the 28th January 2010, extracts below.

9.1.1. detention of asylum seekers and irregular migrants shall be exceptional and only used after first reviewing all other alternatives and finding that there is no effective alternative;

9.3.4.1. placement in special establishments (open or semi-open);

9.3.4.2. registration and reporting;

9.3.4.3. release on bail/surety;

9.3.4.4. controlled release to individuals, family members, NGOs, religious organisations, or others;

9.3.4.5. handover of travel and other documents, release combined with appointment of a special worker;

Please support our concerns, lobby your MPs, Councilors, MEPs, demanding our immediate release and an end to arbitrary detention.

With Thanks,

Women behind the Wire @ Yarl’s Wood IRC

Hunger strikers call for answers and dignity

I am one of 70 women on hunger strike in Yarl’s Wood detention centre against our treatment. We have been on hunger strike since early February.

I have won my case and been granted asylum in Britain. But, like many of the women here, the authorities are still keeping me detained.

The Home Office says it wants to reconsider my case, but that doesn’t give it the right to keep me locked up in this prison. I have been here for seven months.

Others have been here for three years.

There are rape survivors and torture victims in Yarl’s Wood. We have been through a lot and then we’re locked up when we get to Britain.

I came from St Lucia. Me and my daughter were kidnapped by gangs and there was no protection for us over there. The judge ruled that they cannot send me back there.

We’re all frustrated and we’ve had enough. We just want an answer about why we’re still here.

Many of us are mothers with children outside. We need to see them.

The conditions are very bad and the guards have been aggressive towards us, especially since we started our hunger strike.

All the women are talking about continuing until we hear something. We are getting lots of supportive letters from people campaigning on our behalf. Please keep up your support.

Verna Joseph, Yarl’s Wood

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