It’s not the first time recently that ‘failed’, detained asylum seekers have taken matters into their own hands in protest against their terrible treatment by Britain’s inhuman asylum system. And again it’s happening at Yarl’s Wood:
For two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 100 women detained staged a hunger strike to protest the way they are being deported to their countries of residence. Some of them are deported the day following their arrest, without even being allowed to get a lawyer, inform their family and friends of their status or even just keep their belongings.
Women arrested are from China, Pakistan, India, Latin America and other countries. Every day a minimum of six women are deported, wearing the same clothes they arrived in because they were not allowed to get their own clothes. In addition, many of them did not have time to hear the answer to their appeal. Many of them don’t speak English and are unable to implement their rights.
It is reported that a woman tried to commit suicide. She cut her veins of both hands but a guard stopped her and took her to the hospital. This is something that is happening on a daily basis. Depression, anxiety, fear, anxiety, uncertainty … “It is a psychological torture. We are conscious we have nothing to lose. They bring the TV to show all the comforts we have, but they do not mind that we have no rights, even to know how our cases are developing.”
According to them, their appeals are not being studied in a reasonable length of time and many are deported without having a response from the Home Office. Inmates also complain that the food they receive is inadequate.
These are people who are in detention, without having committed a crime. They do not have access to legal aid, are not being given the opportunity to prove their cases, and face violence from their guards. Yet the mainstream media isn’t interested in such constant, mainstreamed abuse. It’s far from unusual. Why should anyone, let alone people who haven’t committed a crime, have to resort to a hunger strike in order to be able to access adequate health care, proper food and highlight the detention of children?!
Amnesty International protested yesterday in support of asylum seekers’ rights. You can see the photos here.