One life in investigative journalism

open democracyA Q&A with Clare Sambrook, OurKingdom co-editor and co-founder of the ‘End Child Detention Now’ campaign. Interviewer: Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, writer-in-residence at Lacuna.What story or campaign are you most proud of?

One night, a few summers ago, friends of mine in York were disturbed by a loud banging on their door. There stood a Kurdish family — men, women and children — distraught. A young relative of theirs in Cumbria, where I live, had been detained by the immigration authorities. Her two-year-old son was left parentless for four days. My friends found them a lawyer — on the 31st phone call, and prompted letters appealing to the Home Office. I created a media campaign. After 26 days locked up at Yarl’s Wood detention centre, the family was released and, eventually, allowed to remain here. There had been no reason to detain them.

Out of their damaging ordeal came our (unfunded) End Child Detention Now campaign. We were amazingly successful at raising awareness about and combating the practice of locking up asylum-seeking families in conditions known to harm them.

Anthony Barnett at OurKingdom published our work relentlessly from the start. That relationship grew into the Shine A Light project, which continues to expose injustice and challenge official lying. Continue reading “One life in investigative journalism”