Yarl’s Wood

If I am ever detained

There is understandably huge interest in knowing what immigration detention centres look like: barbed wire and prohibition of cameras inside the centres increase people’s curiosity.  But can you see the impact of immigration detention with your eyes?  What does immigration detention do to us? In this blog, Eiri Ohtani (@EiriOhtani), the Project Director of the Detention Forum shares her reflection and [...]

2019-04-22T14:18:22+00:00 November 9th, 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 [...]

2019-05-28T11:18:32+00:00 October 30th, 2017|

Remembering My First Time

Though no official survey exists, the 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 she [...]

2019-04-22T14:37:30+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 [...]

2019-04-22T14:39:34+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 [...]

2019-04-22T14:41:45+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 [...]

2019-04-22T14:44:05+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 non-place-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 speech [...]

2019-05-28T11:15:20+00:00 October 20th, 2017|

“Do you know what immigration detention is?” Part 2 Told by Mrs A, expert-by-experience

Yesterday, we published part 1 of Mrs A's contribution to Unlocking Detention, submitted by her solicitor at Duncan Lewis.  In part 2 of her blog, Mrs A continues to describe her experience of and take on immigration detention in the UK. Do you know what immigration detention is?  Part 2 Prison-like conditions and little privacy Detention centres are built to the [...]

2019-04-22T14:52:13+00:00 October 17th, 2017|

Week 7: #Unlocked16 visits Yarl’s Wood

Week 7 of Unlocking Detention saw us virtually visit Yarl's Wood detention centre, perhaps the best known of all the UK's sites of detention.  Opened in 2001 at a cost of £100 million, with an original capacity of 900 bed spaces, the centre was burnt down three months later in a fire. It reopened in 2003 on a smaller scale - [...]

2019-05-07T09:13:39+00:00 November 28th, 2016|

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 [...]

2019-04-23T12:23:20+00:00 November 25th, 2016|
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