THE indefinite detention of asylum seekers must stop, a Parliamentary report on immigration detention, released yesterday has concluded.
Following the report there was an angry demonstration outside the Home Office demanding that the notorious Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre is immediately shut down.
‘The women of Yarl’s Wood, Free them now! Detention Centres shut them down!’ chanted the lively demonstration. The centre is used to forcibly detain women seeking asylum and then to deport them if their application fails.
A secretly filmed documentary exposing alleged racial and sexual abuse at the privately run Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre was aired on Monday night.
The investigation into the centre in Bedfordshire, which is run by private firm Serco, also raised concerns about inmates attempting to kill themselves because the conditions were so bad.
By Tuesday morning a worker at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre had been suspended.
The documentary shows One Serco guard saying: ‘They’re animals. They’re beasties. They’re all animals. Caged animals. Take a stick with you and beat them up. Right?’
The ‘Party Parliamentary Groups on refugees and migration’ report followed an inquiry into the use of immigration detention. The key recommendations of the report are:
• There should be a time limit of 28 days on the length of time anyone can be held in immigration detention.
• Detention is currently used disproportionately frequently, resulting in too many instances of detention. The presumption in theory and practice should be in favour of community-based resolutions and against detention.
• Decisions to detain should be very rare and detention should be for the shortest possible time and only to effect removal.
• The Government should learn from international best practice and introduce a much wider range of alternatives to detention than are currently used in the UK.
The demonstration to shut down Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre called for the immediate release of all detainees.
The Movement for Justice which called the demonstration said: ‘We are demanding the immediate release of all the women of Yarl’s Wood, that Yarl’s Wood must be SHUT DOWN and the entire racist, sexist, corrupt system of immigration detention comes to an end.’