SHAFAQNA – A new report says that protests and hunger strikes at migrant detention centers in the UK are spreading. Some 300 detainees at the Harmondsworth immigrant removal center near London have launched a hunger strike to protest the conditions there. Now the protests within immigration removal centers (IRC) have spread across the UK, RT reported on March 16.
The report quoted an inmate as saying that the protests are taking place in Harmondsworth (Heathrow airport), Brook House (Gatwick airport), Pennine House (Manchester), Dover, The Verne, Dungavel (South Lanarkshire), Oxford and Morton Hall (Lincolnshire).
According to testimonies by detention center inmates, protesters demand the implementation of a 28-day detention limit, as recommended by a parliamentary inquiry earlier this month.
They also want an end to ‘Detained Fast Track’ (DFT), a system by which the Home Office is able to determine an asylum seeker’s case within two weeks.
The strikers seek a release of all those currently on DFT.
They also want immediate release of detainees who are disabled, elderly, pregnant, mentally unwell, and those who are victims of torture and trafficking, RT reported.Now political commentator William Spring says, “The facts are, unless you can have a lawyer, they’re not prepared to listen to you. Even though under the rules you’re allowed to have anyone to represent you. But in practical terms they will not listen to anyone other than the lawyer. “
Spring told Press TV’s UK Desk on Monday that “now with the many cuts in the legal aid, I believe many people are not represented in the review proceedings. So I think the staff at these places, many of them try their best but they are overwhelmed by a system which is completely unable to be operated anymore; it’s not functional.”
“On the other hand, we have real genuine cases of people who have suffered a great injustice, the government doesn’t take notice of those, but cases where there are really peculiar characteristics to it the government will take notice of those. In other words there seems to be a complete lack of consistency in the judicial decision making that leads people to get into these institutions where they can be left there for years because they have to return people to their own country and many other countries don’t want them back any way so they are left in a vacuum. And they may be left in Britain for years.”
There are estimated 30,000 people detained in such facilities while their status is being resolved.
Source : Press TV