Monthly Archives: October 2017

Why political pressure needs to be ramped up now

The Detention Forum which runs Unlocking Detention is a network of many groups who have been working together to challenge UK’s immigration detention policy and practice.  Jon Featonby, one of its Coordination Group members, explains why now is the time for everyone to start taking action against detention.  There can be no better time for #Unlocked17 to have started. The next [...]

2018-10-30T16:16:05+00:00 October 31st, 2017|

Week 2: #Unlocked17 visits Yarl’s Wood

This week Unlocking Detention visited Yarl's Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire. Like other centres, it is isolated and hard to reach. However, with space for up to 304 women and 68 families, it is notorious for the detention of women. Stephen Shaw said it hosts “one of the largest concentrations of women deprived of their liberty anywhere in Western Europe”. Women are [...]

2018-10-30T16:23:58+00:00 October 30th, 2017|

‘I try to forget about everything that I went through at Brook House.’

Paul* was removed from Brook House to Jamaica earlier this year, after being detained for over two years.  For the last six months of his detention, he had signed up to return voluntarily.  Paul talked to Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group, who supported him during his detention, about his attempt to 'forget about everything' that he went through at Brook House.  (This is [...]

2018-10-30T16:34:38+00:00 October 30th, 2017|

Remembering My First Time

Though no official survey exists, UK is one of the few countries around the world where each detention centre has a dedicated visitor's group, in addition to other groups who visit formally and informally multiple centres.  Hundreds of people must be regularly visiting those held in detention centres, but what does visiting really do?  Sonja Miley of Waging Peace write how [...]

2018-11-05T16:55:28+00:00 October 26th, 2017|

‘A country I had called home for 13 years had imprisoned me.’

Families with children were regularly detained at Yarl’s Wood and Dungavel detention centres until the change of policy in 2010 drastically reduced the number of children detained.  Now, a smaller number of families with children are detained in an unit within Tinsley detention centre.  But what happened to many children who were detained at Yarl’s Wood and who are turning into [...]

2018-11-05T16:59:33+00:00 October 25th, 2017|

Photo essay ‘To Yarl’s Wood detention centre’

Yarl's Wood detention centre is perhaps the most high-profile centres in the UK.  This photo essay is for those of you who have never been to this detention centre. If you are visiting other detention centres, can you consider writing a photo essay like this for Unlocking Detention?  Remember, not many people make the journey you are making - and people [...]

2018-11-06T15:08:26+00:00 October 24th, 2017|

‘Everyday in Yarl’s Wood is a struggle’

This week, Unlocking Detention tour is 'visiting' Yarl's Wood detention centre in Bedford.  Boatemaa* was detained in Yarl’s Wood earlier this year.  She was recently released from Yarl’s Wood, to continue with her asylum case, after four months in detention.  She shares her story here.  (This is not her real name.) I never knew my real parents. I was handed over [...]

2018-11-06T15:13:50+00:00 October 23rd, 2017|

‘The Seamed Zones’

Photo taken at the launch of 'The Seamed Zones' on 12 October 2017.  Where does 'invisibility' of immigration detention centres start?  Ben du Preez, Campaigns Coordinator at Detention Action, stares into the gap between nonplace-ness of detention centres and their material human impact and finds hope in Experts-By-Experience's power to bring the truth to light.   ========================================================================== Last week, I delivered a [...]

2018-11-06T15:21:38+00:00 October 20th, 2017|

“We need it now. People are dying.” Freed Voices lobbying for #Time4aTimeLimit

The theme of this year’s Unlocking Detention is ‘action’ so who better to hear from than the Freed Voices group. Earlier this week, Mishka from Freed Voices joined campaigners Fred Ashmore and Timothy Gee from the Quakers to lobby the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable. We sat down with Mishka to ask him a few questions about the experience. [...]

2018-11-06T15:24:17+00:00 October 18th, 2017|

Verne closes, Shaw looms

Detention Action has been running advice surgeries every month at the Verne detention centre, which is set to close at the end of this year.  Jerome Phelps, Director of Detention Action, considers what our next task is.   Detention centres feel permanent.  There is nothing like the experience of visiting a detention centre, confronting the walls and locked doors and razor [...]

2018-11-06T15:27:45+00:00 October 18th, 2017|
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