On International Women’s Day, on 8 March, hundreds of friends and supporters of people incarcerated at Yarl´s Wood Immigration Detention Centre will go without food to draw attention to the struggle of the people detained there, many of whom have been on hunger strike. One of the freedom fasters explains why.
On the 8th March, International Women’s Day, I will also be joining a 24 hour freedom fast alongside #hungerforfreedom strikers at Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre, who are being threatened by our government for taking part in a nonviolent protest against their detention conditions. It will be difficult. But nothing compared to long, drawn-out hunger strikes of the incarcerated women. After a few days, the body begins to cannibalise itself. Long-term hunger strikers risk their health and their lives. But they’re facing down a system of extreme cruelty and dehumanisation which already puts their lives at risk.
If you agree, please join us – if you can’t join the fast, share the info, write to your MP, do what you can do. Many hundreds of people will refuse food on International Women’s Day, but this is just the beginning. Ultimately we are seeking to change a detention system that refuses freedom to thousands of people every year. Immigration detention must end.
We want the Home Office to respect Article 8.
We want the Home office to respect the European Convention of Human Rights regarding refugees and asylum seekers.
We want the Home Office to respect due process and stop deporting people before their cases are decided or appeals are heard.
We want due processes before we are imprisoned on immigration matters.
We want a fair bail process and the Home Office to end the process of selective evidence disclosure to the immigration tribunal courts and instead disclosure of all evidence to ensure a fair judgement is reached.
We want adequate healthcare and especially the mental health nurse to stop operating as an extension of the Home Office asking people such questions as, “did you know you were going to stay in the UK when you entered?”
We want the Home Office to stop detaining the vulnerable people, that is victims of rape, that is torture, all forms of torture, trafficking, forced labour, the disabled, the mentally ill and so on.
We want amnesty for all people who have lived in the UK for more than 10 years and an end to the exiling of those who came as children and are culturally British.
We want an end to the Home Office’s of employing detainees to do menial work for £1 per hour, it preys on the vulnerable and forces them to participate in their own detention.
We want an end to charter flights and the snatching of people from their beds in the night and herding them like animals.
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On both the left and the right, people pit migrants' rights against workers' rights. That attitude only serves the interests of the powerful, writes Amardeep Dhillon.
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