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

Communication | Unlocked19

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 – and yet both told us about the uncertainty, oppression and wastefulness of indefinite immigration detention.

Thanks to JRS UK and Detention Action for putting us in touch, and a particular thanks to DAK and Seed for their time, thoughtfulness and insight.

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Q&A with Siarhei in Campsfield House IRC

Image by @Carcazan

This week, Unlocking Detention has been ‘visiting’ Campsfield House detention centre in Oxfordshire. The Duncan Lewis Public Law, Civil Litigation and Immigration teams put us in touch with Siarhei, who is currently detained in Campsfield. In addition to the normal barriers to communication faced by everyone in detention, Siarhei speaks no English, so Anastasija Vasiljeva in the Civil Litigation team at Duncan Lewis kindly helped to interpret for us.

A huge thank you to Duncan Lewis for their assistance, and to Siarhei for his reflections on being detained in Campsfield and under immigration powers in prison.

Live Q&A with Marino in Brook House IRC

This week, Unlocking Detention has been ‘visiting’ Brook House and Tinsley House detention centres, near Gatwick Airport. The Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group put us in touch with Marino (not his real name), who joined us on the phone from Brook House for a live Twitter Q&A on Thursday afternoon. A huge thank you to Marino for his time and insight.

Read on to find out more…

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Live Q&A with Gil, detained in Dungavel

This week Unlocking Detention has been ‘visiting’ Dungavel detention centre, the only detention in Scotland and a site of much contention after the government announced plans earlier this year to close it and open a Short-Term Holding Facility in Glasgow – you can read Scottish Detainee Visitors‘ analysis of the situation as it stands, here. On Friday afternoon, Ben from Detention Action conducted a live Twitter Q&A with Gil, currently detained in Dungavel. Here’s the recap:

 
 

Q&A with Ali, currently detained in Colnbrook

This interview with Ali, who is detained in Colnbrook, took place last week and we planned as usual to tweet the Q and A throughout the afternoon on the Friday of Colnbrook week of #Unlockd16.
On Friday morning, news broke that a man had died in Colnbrook and that a murder investigation had been launched.  As the interview with Ali was not live, there are no questions about this terrible news, or how the people detained in Colnbrook are dealing with such a stressful situation.
We decided it was important to go ahead with getting Ali’s voice out into the wider world.
Here’s the full interview:

https://twitter.com/EiriOhtani/status/804695595751534592

Q&A with Mayalex, currently detained in Yarl’s Wood

This week Unlocking Detention has been ‘visiting’ Yarl’s Wood detention centre – perhaps the best known of all the UK’s sites of detention, and which will once again be the site of protest on 3 December

Earlier this week, Ben from Detention Action conducted a Q&A with ‘Mayalex’ who is currently detained in Yarl’s Wood.  We tweeted the interview live this afternoon (Friday).

Here’s the whole interview, and the thoughts of others joining in the conversation:

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Live Q&A with Christopher and Jose, both detained in Campsfield

This week Unlocking Detention has been ‘visiting’ Campsfield detention centre, run by Mitie, the largest single private provider of detention services to the Home Office. (In a first for our regular live Q&As) on Friday afternoon, Ben from Detention Action conducted a live Twitter Q&A with two friends currently detained in Campsfield – Christopher and Jose. You can recap the whole interview below:

Live Q&A with Justice, detained in Harmondsworth

This week Unlocking Detention has been ‘visiting’ Harmondsworth – the largest detention centre in the UK, with a capacity for 661 people, and once the ‘spiritual’ home of the now abolished Detained Fast Track. On Friday afternoon, Ben from Detention Action conducted a live Twitter Q&A with Justice, who’s been detained in Harmondsworth for two months and counting. You can recap the whole interview below: 

 

Live Q and A with Dave, detained in Morton Hall

This week Unlocking Detention has been ‘visiting’ Morton Hall in Lincolnshire. On Friday afternoon, Ben from Detention Action conducted a live Twitter Q&A with Dave, who’s been detained for nearly two years altogether. You can recap the whole interview below: 

Live Q and A with Jon, detained in Brook House

This week Unlocking Detention has been ‘visiting’ Brook and Tinsley Houses, respectively. Together they make up the Gatwick site of detention, situated roughly 200 metres from the main runway at Gatwick Airport. On Friday afternoon, Ben from Detention Action conducted a live Twitter Q&A with Jon, whose detention in Brook House stood at 18 months and counting…

To kick off, a huge shout-out to the Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group (GDWG), who support individuals detained in Brook and Tinsley House:

The first question came from Sam Grant, Campaigns Manager at Rene Cassin:

Another question from Scottish Detainee Visitors illuminated the central theme of this year’s Unlocking Detention tour: the impact of detention on those immediate relationships that shape who we are – family and loved ones.

Next we had a series of questions on the vitality of visitor-groups:

Always nice to see people following #Unlocked16 (and the live Q&As in particular) from afar…

This week also featured several questions about the physical and sensorial reality of detention – what it looks like, smells like, sounds like, how it feels

Towards the end of the Q&A, questions turned to the political reality that frames detention in the UK, and how Jon and others within detention think it should change:

And to close proceedings, Jon spoke out about the links between Britain’s historical legacy of oppression and the routine indefinite detention of migrants today: