Women in Yarl's WoodIRC Demand Freedom
Following the Court of Appeal ruling (26 June) suspending the discredited Detained Fast Track (DFT), women in Yarl's Wood IRC faxed a petition signed by over 80 women of different nationalities calling for their freedom:
"We demand to be unconditionally released - everyone on the Detained Fast Track and all other vulnerable asylum seekers must be released back into the community NOW!? NO Bail, No Tags".
Rosie from All African Women's Group speaking for many former ex-detainee members said: "Many inside have almost been driven mad by their experiences, but are determined to speak out. Serco cannot hide the truth - their guards are racist brutes who have raped and abused women."
Cristel Amiss from Black Women's Rape Action Project, which has just published a dossier documenting widespread and ongoing rape and sexual abuse of women detainees by guards commented: "Hundreds of vulnerable women, many of who are survivors of rape and other torture have been victims of the DFT - an inhuman and discriminatory system which left no time for detainees to gather evidence of the persecution they suffered. We know of several women who have been deported and suffered further rape and other torture on arrival, others have disappeared and may be dead. The court ruling must be implemented immediately and women released."
30,000 people a year are held in immigration detention without charge or conviction, without time limit, deprived of legal support, translation facilities or healthcare.
Demands for the closure of detention centres are coming from many quarters, including parliamentarians. The main impetus for its continuation appears to be massive profits made by private companies like Serco which runs Yarl's Wood. Serco covered up rape and abuse by guards, yet its eight year £70 million contract was renewed in November 2014.
All African Women's Group firstname.lastname@example.org
Black Women's Rape Action Project email@example.com
Women Against Rape firstname.lastname@example.org
To interview women: 020 7482 2496, 07456525227