Yesterday Yvette Cooper and members of the Home Affairs Select Committee paid a surprise visit to Yarl’s Wood, above is the account of that visit by Yarl’s Wood detainees and a call on Cooper and the Committee to return to Yarl’s Wood. Yesterday evening we emailed the petition and all 102 signatures to Yvette Cooper and the Home Affairs Select Committee with the following email…
Dear Yvette Cooper and Committee,
Attached is a petition written by detainees in Yarl’s Wood, in just over two hours today following your visit they managed to collect 102 detainee signatures and fax this to us. It tells their account of how they were lied to about your visit, lied to by promises that they would get to speak to you and locked up so they could not approach you. They are furious at how they have been treated today and want you to return to the centre to hear from them.
Yarl’s Wood detainees have been avidly following every session of the Detention Inquiry that is televised on Parliament TV, collectively they have so much knowledge and experience that could and should be added to that inquiry. Not only individual stories of abuse and how they’ve been set up to fail by this system of detention but also how they have been organising, coming together and fighting back against their unjust detention and brutal deportations. The expertise and contribution that current detainees can make to the Detention Inquiry cannot be matched by any contribution from outside detention centres.
Yarl’s Wood detainees are calling on you and committee members to return to Yarl’s Wood to hear from all those who want to speak. As an organisation whose members span both inside and outside the walls of Yarl’s Wood we have some suggestions of how that could work. The committee could insist on using the hall and hold an actual session of the Inquiry inside Yarl’s Wood, invite detainees to speak and have the session open to all detainees at the centre. Such a session should be advertised in advance and should not rely on Serco cherry picking who they want you to hear from. We’d advice you not to rely on Serco to do the advertising of this session themselves, they have proved their duplicity by this display of force today. Instead approach us and other external organisations working with detainees who can spread the word inside the centre.
We hope you can respond to this petition and return to YarlsWood in the coming weeks.
Movement for Justice
Support the call for Yvette Cooper MP and the HASC to #ReturnToYarlsWood
Tweet/email the following members of the committee…
|Yvette Cooper (Chair)||Labour|
|Sir Christopher Chope||Conservative|
|Stephen Doughty||Labour (Co-op)|
|Stuart C. McDonald||Scottish National Party|