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Blog 2019-11-11T13:40:19+00:00

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Separation and abandonment as a result of detention

This blog comes from A. Panquang, a member of Freed Voices (@FreedVoices) and Detention Forum volunteer.  Detaining anybody simply means separating them from their familiar surroundings; away from friends, family and community. Everyone has a family and being in detention usually means being separated from them. The UK immigration system doesn’t take into account whether one has a young family or other [...]

By | December 11th, 2018|Experts-by-experience, Unlocked18|

For many autumns to come

Image by @Carcazan This blog was written by Mishka, a member of Freed Voices, a group of experts-by-experience committed to speaking out about the realities of immigration detention in the UK. And Mishka would like to introduce the blog himself… This would be my final piece for Unlocking Detention 2018. It has been my absolute delight to be a part of [...]

By | December 10th, 2018|Experts-by-experience, Unlocked18|

‘The stain of detention will haunt us for the rest of our lives, but I don’t want it to define us’: Experts-by-experience give evidence to the JCHR inquiry

This blog comes from A. Panquang, a member of Freed Voices (@FreedVoices) and Detention Forum volunteer. On 28 November, A gave evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ inquiry into immigration detention alongside Michael, another member of Freed Voices. I have never given evidence in Parliament before. The first thing that I noticed was that it was a normal activity for the [...]

By | December 8th, 2018|Experts-by-experience, Unlocked18|

Your pocket Home Office phrasebook: A dialect of dehumanisation

Patrick Page is a senior caseworker in public law at Duncan Lewis Solicitors (@DLPublicLaw). He is also founder and editor of No Walls, a forum for discussions on migration and human rights, with a focus on immigration detention. No Walls is a member of the Detention Forum. Patrick tweets at @padspage The dehumanising language deployed by national leaders and public figures when [...]

By | December 7th, 2018|Unlocked18|

Week 6: #Unlocked18 visits Harmondsworth and Colnbrook

From the 26 November - 2 December, Unlocking Detention visited Colnbrook and Harmondsworth, the two detention centres next to Heathrow Airport. Here, a few hundred metres from the runway, well over 1,000 people can be detained indefinitely. As well as six new blogs, this week we had a double Q&A with two people in Harmondsworth, DAK and Seed (not their real [...]

By | December 6th, 2018|Colnbrook, Harmondsworth, Unlocked18|

“Once a criminal always a criminal”, especially if you don’t have a British passport

Content warning: suicide, torture. Image by @Carcazan This blog comes from Celia Clarke and Rudy Schulkind at BID (Bail for Immigration Detainees). BID tweets at @BIDdetention “I couldn’t go swimming, or even sit on the bus in case my trousers rode up, ‘cos I was so ashamed of the tag.  But it was still way better than being locked up.” Stephen [...]

By | December 6th, 2018|Prisons, Unlocked18|

Immigration detention is mental torture

Content warning: graphic descriptions of suicide and self-harm. Image by @Carcazan This blog comes from Souleymane, a member of Freed Voices. Freed Voices are a group of experts-by-experience who are committed to speaking out about the realities of immigration detention in the UK. They are on Twitter at @FreedVoices. My name is Souleymane and I am a member of Freed Voices. [...]

By | December 6th, 2018|Experts-by-experience, Unlocked18|

“There was a chance justice would be done”

Image by @Carcazan In this #Unlocked18 blog, Mishka at Freed Voices (@FreedVoices) interviews Tamsin Alger, Deputy Director at Detention Action about her experience of the Detained Fast Track (DFT) strategic litigation and campaign. The DFT litigation was one of the key highlights of the 2015 Unlocking Detention timeline. ======================================================================================== XX December 2018, Hello Tamsin, I am Mishka from the expert by [...]

By | December 4th, 2018|Experts-by-experience, Take action, Unlocked18|

“I have seen that the detention system in the UK is broken”

Content warning: suicide. Image by @Carcazan This blog comes from Rhiannon Prideaux, a visitor with the Morton Hall Detainee Visitors Group. I visited people detained at Morton Hall detention centre for around three and a half years.  In that time I visited 6 people.  All from different countries and detained for a variety of different reasons.  Many of them spent time [...]

By | December 3rd, 2018|Morton Hall, Unlocked18|

“We are not outsiders, we are one of your own”: Hearing Voices peer support groups in detention

Content warning: hearing voices, mental distress. Image by @Carcazan On 21 November, the Freed Voices group invited Akiko Hart, the project manager of the Hearing Voices project at Mind in Camden, to their November monthly meeting. Akiko and Freed Voices members Mishka and Red have contributed some thoughts about this meeting. I am Akiko Hart. I work as the Hearing Voices [...]

By | November 30th, 2018|Colnbrook, Experts-by-experience, Harmondsworth, Unlocked18|

Double-header Q&A: DAK and Seed answer your questions from Harmondsworth IRC

Image by @Carcazan This week, we spoke to two people detained in Harmondsworth immigration removal centre (IRC), DAK and Seed (not their real names), who spent over an hour answering questions sent in from across the UK. Some of their experiences are similar, some are very different. DAK has been detained in Harmondsworth for over a year; Seed for a few weeks [...]

By | November 29th, 2018|Experts-by-experience, Harmondsworth, Q&A from detention, Unlocked18|

“I cannot do anything from here”: LGBTQI+ asylum seekers in detention

Content warning: suicide. Image by @Carcazan This blog comes from Gabriella Bettiga, Legal Officer at UKLGIG (UK Gay and Lesbian Immigration Group). You can find them on Twitter at @UKLGIG Among those held in immigration detention, there is a group of people that feel more isolated than most. Often scared to reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI) to others [...]

By | November 29th, 2018|Harmondsworth, Unlocked18|

“Allowing people to see what might be possible”: Volunteering in detention

Content warning: torture, rape. Image by @Carcazan This two-part blog features reflections from two volunteers with JRS UK, who support people detained in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs), The first comes from Cashel Riordan, a counsellor and volunteer. Recently, I started reflecting on my counselling work, and was particularly struck by the difference between my private clients and those [...]

By | November 28th, 2018|Colnbrook, Harmondsworth, Unlocked18|

Three years after Moroccan Jew’s death in detention, why no inquest?

Content warning: suicide, death. Image by @Carcazan This piece comes from Hannah Swirsky, Campaigns Officer at René Cassin. It was originally published on Jewish News. Immigration detention has again reached national news after a recent Guardian investigation into those detained in the UK found that “more than half of the sample were either suicidal, seriously ill or victims of torture”. According to [...]

By | November 27th, 2018|Harmondsworth, Unlocked18|

Week 5: #Unlocked18 visits Campsfield House

Last week, #Unlocked18 visited Campsfield House IRC near Oxford. Since it opened in 1993, tens of thousands of people have been detained here indefinitely. The centre has also been the focus of many protests and a sustained campaign for its closure, as the graphic and blogs below demonstrate. This will be the final time Unlocking Detention visits Campsfield: a few [...]

By | November 26th, 2018|Campsfield, Unlocked18|

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