Media coverage: immigration detention

Channel 4 : “Harmondsworth undercover: ‘I don’t want to die here'” – 04/03/15
“At one point he films the aftermath of a detainee having an epileptic fit. Voices in the video say it is the third seizure the man has had in less than three weeks. The incident raises questions over the government’s detention policies – people with serious illnesses and disabilities, as well as pregnant women and the elderly, are only supposed to be detained in “exceptional circumstances”.”  See the footage in full.
Channel 4 – Yarl’s Wood: undercover in the secretive immigration centre – 02/03/15
The Channel 4 News investigation reveals: Numerous incidents of self-harm, Questions over standards of healthcare, Guards showing contempt for detainees. … Cameras have never been allowed inside. Even the United Nations special rapporteur for violence against women was barred entry.… Staff at Yarl’s Wood are filmed referring to the detention centre’s inmates as “animals”, “beasties” and “b**ches”. “Headbutt the b**ch”, one guard says. “I’d beat her up”. …”  See the video clips on the Channel 4 website.
Channel 4 – Yarl’s Wood: the drugs inside the notorious detention centre – 03/03/15
“Yesterday’s revelations about Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre prompted angry debate among MPs. In part two, we reveal the presence of banned substances in the UK’s infamous detention unit.  … ” See the video clips on the Channel 4 website.
Medical Justice Press release : Channel 4 undercover investigation at Yarl’s Wood – 02/03/15
“The endemic harmful conditions, coupled with instances of medical mistreatment, make Yarl’s Wood and other immigration removal centres dangerous places for many vulnerable detainees – rather than its ongoing expansion of the “detention estate”, the government should take emergency measures and close them.”  Read the press release in full.
Guardian : “Locking up immigrants diminishes us all” – 03/03/15
“… The charities Medical Justice and Women For Refugee Women have previously documented the experiences of women detained at Yarl’s Wood in detail. … The last decade has seen an oft-repeated pattern – a disturbing investigation by journalists or a damning report by a charity or independent inspectorate, generating a transient flurry of interest in those who are locked up out of sight. Such revelations are followed by a few dismissals of “bad apples” and a handful of new recommendations to improve matters, which may or may not be implemented: and then silence and business as usual. But as Teather said in the inquiry report, little will change with tinkering.”  Read the article in full.
Guardian : “‘What crime have I committed to be held like this?’: inside Yarl’s Wood” – 03/03/15
“The chair was on the floor, things from the wardrobe all over the place. I was scared. She disappeared and stayed in isolation. Staff told me they just wanted to get her calm for some days. They wouldn’t tell me why. You get scared that you can be taken away like that for a few days, without your things,”  …. It also recommended that women who are victims of rape and sexual violence should not be detained and that pregnant women should never be detained for immigration purposes – proposals that organisations that work with detainees, such as Medical Justice, have long called for.”  Read the article in full.
The Independent : ” Thanks to Channel 4 we now see just how appallingly Yarl’s Wood detention centre shames Britain” – 01/03/15
“A woman in custody, suffering from a miscarriage, has to wait three hours before seeing a doctor. Female detainees are called “black bitches”, threatened and sexually humiliated. When they self-harm, guards shout or accuse them of seeking attention. One detainee jumps off a stairwell and breaks her neck, ending up in a wheelchair.”  Read the article in full.
Independent : “Harmondsworth immigrants kept in cells for two hours longer, secret filming reveals” – 05/03/15
“… Phil Miller, a researcher for Corporate Watch, said: “The Harmondsworth videos, coming straight after the exposé of Yarl’s Wood, reveal that the problems with immigration detention cannot be isolated to one centre.”  Read the article in full.
Sunday Times : “‘Let them slash their wrists’: a guard’s care for immigrant detainees” – 01/03/15
“Footage recorded in Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre reveals that desperate prisoners threw themselves down a staircase in apparent attempts to commit suicide.”  Read the article in full.
BBC : “Yarl’s Wood worker suspended after Channel 4 film” – 02/03/15
“Serco said it had appointed former barrister Kate Lampard to carry out an independent review of its work.”  Read the article in full.
BBC : “Yarl’s Wood: Second worker suspended after abuse allegations”– 03/03/15
“A second member of staff has been suspended at Yarl’s Wood detention centre following allegations of abuse, Home Office Minister Karen Bradley has told MPs.”  Read the article on the BBC website.
Telegraph : “Yarl’s Wood worker suspended following undercover investigation” – 03/03/15
“Service company Serco will launch an independent review of its practises after detention centre workers were filmed calling inmates ‘animals’ and ‘beasties’ ”  Read the article n full.
Telegraph : “‘Headbutt the bitch’: Why Yarl’s Wood needs to ditch male guards. Urgently” – 03/03/15
“Radhika Sanghani, who recently visited the detention centre, explains why the female detainees are right to be scared”  Read the article on the Telegraph website.
Sky News : “Yarl’s Wood Guard Suspended After Secret Film” – 03/03/15
“An inquiry is ordered after an undercover TV report shows staff at the detention centre referring to detainees as “bitches”.”  See the article on the Sky website.
Bedford Times & Citizen : “Urgent question about Yarl’s Wood due to be asked in Parliament following shocking undercover filming report” – 03/03/15
“Another advises his colleague to ‘take a stick in with you and beat them up’.”  Read the article in full.
Guardian : “Theresa May ‘allowed state-sanctioned abuse of women’ at Yarl’s Wood” – 03/03/15
“Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary …. “There is no point in ministers pretending to be shocked at news of abuse. This is not news. Even now, the ministers have not set up an independent inquiry. Serco has … This is state-sanctioned abuse of women on the home secretary’s watch and it needs to end now.””  Read the article in full.
BBC : “Yarl’s Wood: Women in ‘small peaceful protest'” – 04/03/15
“About a dozen female detainees at Yarl’s Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire were involved in a “small” protest on Tuesday night.”  Read the article on the BBC website.
Bedfordshire on Sunday : “Yarl’s Wood detainees threaten hunger strike” – 04/03/15
“Less than 24 hours after a Channel 4 documentary that uncovered the aggressive, racist and sexist attitudes of guards at Yarl’s Wood inmates are threatening to go on hunger strike.”  Read the article in full.
Bedfordshire On Sunday : “Bedford councillor says Yarl’s Wood staff suspension “is the Home Office passing the buck”” – 04/03/15
“She said she remains mystified why the contract was renewed despite abuse allegations that had already come to light and an immediate inquiry should have been launched. Richard Fuller, MP for Bedford and Kempston said: “The individual employees at Yarl’s Wood let down their colleagues, their company and their country with their vile comments, which were exposed on Channel 4.”  Read the article in full.