Immigration detainees removed from Harmondsworth centre after disturbances

Posted on November 6, 2022Comments Off on Immigration detainees removed from Harmondsworth centre after disturbances

Dozens of immigration detainees were finally removed on Sunday from a Heathrow immigration centre where a disturbance broke out on Saturday after a power cut, despite a government minister saying he had expected everyone to have been evacuated by Saturday evening. Robert Jenrick issued a statement undertaking to empty the centre of detainees by the end of Saturday.In his statement on Saturday night, the immigration minister said: “There was disruption overnight at Harmondsworth immigration removal centre after a loss of power. Thankfully no staff working or individuals detained there were hurt, despite clear evidence of unacceptable levels of violence and disorder,” he said. “The priority now is to move people to other centres while engineers fix the power fault and repair any damage.”Nevertheless, while some detainees were moved out on Saturday, dozens more remained according to some who spoke to the Guardian by phone on Sunday morning.“We continue to live in Harmondsworth in conditions which are not humane,” said one person. “People are running out of credit on their phones and can’t contact their families. We haven’t been out of our cells for three days. They come to our cells to bring food to us and leave it on the floor as if we’re dogs. They are treating us like prisoners but we are not prisoners we are detainees.”The detainee added that although power had been restored to his wing at the centre TVs had been switched off. Many detainees say that watching TV helps them deal with the stresses of being confined in a cell.The Home Office later said on Sunday afternoon that all detainees had now been removed. The decision to evacuate the centre was taken because of electrical problems that caused power cuts at the removal centre on Friday and Saturday.The power cuts triggered a protest from some detainees on one of the detention centre wings. They refused to return to their cells on Friday evening over the conditions they were being subjected to because of the power cut, which had left them with no light, no heat, no running water, no hot food and no toilet facilities. A disturbance ensued and elite prison squads and the Metropolitan police were called to the scene to quell the protest.Due to ongoing issues with the electricity supply Home Office decided to evacuate the centre and move detainees either to prisons or to other immigration detention centres.Archie Bland and Nimo Omer take you through the top stories and what they mean, free every weekday morningPrivacy Notice: Newsletters may contain info about charities, online ads, and content funded by outside parties. For more information see our Privacy Policy. We use Google reCaptcha to protect our website and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.Another detainee complained about conditions at the centre: “The cell emergency bells are not working so if someone dies behind a cell door nobody will know,” they said. “The system has failed us. We need to know what’s going on but the officers say they don’t know. On Saturday we were asked to pack our bags but we’re still here. A lot of us have high anxiety problems. Being confined to a cell without being allowed to have a shower for the last three days and just staring at a blank TV screen is making me feel very claustrophobic. I feel like a hostage rather than a detainee.”A Home Office spokesperson said: “All individuals residing at Harmondsworth Immigration removal centre have been safely moved to alternative sites, where they remain detained.“The offenders held at the facility were kept secure throughout and no staff or detainees were injured throughout the disruption. All those responsible for disorder will be held to account and, where appropriate, removed from the country as swiftly as possible.”

Source link

Comments Off on Immigration detainees removed from Harmondsworth centre after disturbances