Experts-by-experience

Week 8: #Unlocked18 visits Dungavel

During week 8, the final full week of Unlocking Detention 2018, we visited Dungavel IRC, in Scotland. Dungavel is very isolated: more than 30 miles from Glasgow, 14 miles from the nearest train station, 6 miles from the closest town (Strathaven) and no local bus route. It was originally a 19th century hunting lodge and summer retreat for the Duke of [...]

2019-02-18T12:10:21+00:00 February 18th, 2019|

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

K.A., an expert-by-experience, interviewed Baroness Hamwee, a long-term advocate for detention reform in House of Lords. She was recently named as one of Detention Forum Champions, recognising her tireless work 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 on me both mentally [...]

2019-01-02T16:08:17+00:00 December 17th, 2018|

Because of detention | In spite of detention

Content warning: torture 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 detention', highlights [...]

2018-12-09T17:14:20+00:00 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. [...]

2019-02-18T11:19:50+00:00 December 11th, 2018|

For many autumns to come

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 year's Unlocking [...]

2018-12-11T23:23:11+00:00 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 [...]

2018-12-06T17:23:22+00:00 December 8th, 2018|

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. I [...]

2018-12-02T21:16:45+00:00 December 6th, 2018|

“There was a chance justice would be done.”

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 experience group, Freed [...]

2018-12-04T08:02:59+00:00 December 4th, 2018|

“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 [...]

2018-11-27T14:36:51+00:00 November 30th, 2018|

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 [...]

2018-12-04T12:17:38+00:00 November 29th, 2018|
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