Experts-by-experience

Visiting people held in Dungavel immigration detention centre

To close this year’s Unlocking Detention by a ‘visit’ to Dungavel and reflect on what’s next, we have asked volunteer visitors of Scottish Detainee Visitors, ordinary people doing extraordinary job of witnessing what’s happening to people locked up in Dungavel, to share their experiences. Carol (not her real name) I had heard about Scottish Detainee Visitors from my daughter (who used [...]

2019-12-09T20:50:41+00:00 December 9th, 2019|

‘I lost my religion, my family and my country, but I found hope’.

Mustapha is a young ambassador on the Red Cross’ Surviving to Thriving project, which supports refugees and asylum seekers aged 11 to 25 in Birmingham, Leeds and Peterborough who don't have parents or guardians in the UK. He described how he ‘stopped feeling’ when he fled Morocco and how he regained his confidence and dignity after and during his very challenging life [...]

2019-11-19T11:43:11+00:00 November 18th, 2019|

My detention clothes

Safiyyah (not her real name) has lived in the UK with her family over ten years. She explains how she was suddenly detained with her sister at a reporting centre, then taken to Sahara Unit in Harmondsworth detention centre and later to Yarls Wood detention centre. My orange dress with a black cardigan are my detention clothes – I was wearing [...]

2019-11-11T13:14:10+00:00 November 13th, 2019|

Your guide to #Unlocked18

#Unlocked18 marked the 5th year of Unlocking Detention, our virtual 'tour' of the UK's immigration detention estate. Whether you followed the tour from the beginning or you're just joining us now, we hope you find something to whet your appetite for learning more about detention and how to challenge it. Here's a guide to the contributions featured in #Unlocked18, with highlights [...]

2019-04-16T10:15:06+01:00 January 7th, 2019|

“It is only an accident of fate that I was born in the UK.” Interview with Baroness Hamwee about her detention reform work

Image by @Carcazan K.A., an expert-by-experience, interviewed Baroness Hamwee, a long-term advocate for detention reform in the House of Lords. She was recently named as a Detention Forum Champions, recognising her tireless work on challenging immigration detention. ================================================================  Hello Sally, My name is K.A. I spent 5 months in immigration detention between September 2017 and February2018. The effect it has had [...]

2019-04-16T10:24:26+01:00 December 17th, 2018|

‘If I don’t come back, call my lawyer’: Practical solidarity for people at risk of detention

Luke Butterly works for Right to Remain, a UK-based human rights organisation challenging injustice in our asylum and immigration systems. This blog has been reposted with kind permission from Red Pepper. In communities across the UK, around 80,000 people with pending asylum and immigration claims have to 'report' with the Home Office. This happens at regular intervals - weekly, fortnightly, monthly - [...]

2019-04-16T10:39:20+01:00 December 13th, 2018|

Because of detention | In spite of detention

Content warning: torture. Image by @Carcazan This contribution comes from the Life After Detention group (LAD) based in Glasgow and facilitated by Scottish Detainee Visitors. Between them, members of LAD have lost 4 years and 8 months of their lives to detention. The first part, ‘Because of Detention’, reflects on the ongoing devastation caused by indefinite detention. The second, 'In spite of [...]

2019-04-16T10:49:15+01:00 December 11th, 2018|

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 dependents. [...]

2019-04-16T10:52:23+01:00 December 11th, 2018|

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 this [...]

2019-04-16T10:54:29+01:00 December 10th, 2018|

‘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 Joint [...]

2019-04-16T10:55:55+01:00 December 8th, 2018|
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