Solidarity with the Yarl’s Wood Hunger Strikers

#ShutDownYarlsWood #FeministsAgainstBorders #MigrantsRights #RefugeesAreWelcome #NoBorders

On 21st February 2018, a hunger strike by women detainees at Yarl’s Wood began in protest at the indefinite detention of people who came to the UK as minors, asylum seekers and people who have survived torture.

A government letter in response to the hunger strike stated that it could “lead to your case being accelerated and your removal from the UK taking place sooner” which to many sounded like punitive deportations for women who have dared to go on hunger strike (as pointed out by Diane Abbot, the Shadow Home Secretary).

Increasing numbers of women are being detained at Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre despite professional evidence that they are victims of torture, rape and trafficking, according to a report by the chief inspector of prisons.

 The demands of the hunger strikers are:

An end to indefinite detention and a return to the original plan of the 28 day limit.

The Home Office to respect Article 8.

The Home office to respect the European Convention of Human Rights regarding refugees and asylum seekers.

The Home Office to respect due process and stop deporting people before their cases are decided or appeals are heard.

Due processes before they are imprisoned on immigration matters.

A fair bail process and the Home Office to end the process of selective evidence disclosure to the immigration tribunal courts and instead disclosure of all evidence to ensure a fair judgement is reached.

Adequate healthcare and especially the mental health nurse to stop operating as an extension of the Home Office asking people such questions as, “did you know you were going to stay in the UK when you entered?”

The Home Office to stop detaining the vulnerable people, that is victims of rape, that is torture, all forms of torture, trafficking, forced labour, the disabled, the mentally ill and so on.

Amnesty for all people who have lived in the UK for more than 10 years and an end to the exiling of those who came as children and are culturally British.

An end to the Home Office’s of employing detainees to do menial work for £1 per hour, it prays on the vulnerable and forces them to participate in their own detention.

An end to charter flights and the snatching of people from their beds in the night and herding them like animals.

This is not the first hunger strike at Yarl’s Wood.

Find out more about the history of hunger strikes at Yarl’s Wood.

Read Feminist Fightback’s Interview with a Hunger Striker at Yarl’s Wood (2010).