Two Sudanese men being held at Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre (Kidlington, near Oxford) have refused all food and vitamins for 11 days, in protest at their detention and treatment. Visitors to both are deeply concerned for their health, and at the standard of medical care they are receiving; the men are willing to continue striking “to the extreme” until they are released or removed to a country they regard as safe. A demonstration in their support, held in central Oxford on June 1, was welcomed by the detainees.
Malik Ivrahim Adam has been detained for six months, and the second detainee for two months. Malik is from Geneina, Darfur, and left Sudan fleeing political persecution. His brother was killed for his political affiliations in 2007. The second detainee, also from Darfur, came to the UK to seek medical treatment for a gunshot wound to the leg which he received when the Sudanese Armed Forces attacked his village in 2007. He was imprisoned without charge in Kober Prison, where he was constantly deprived of sleep and kept in handcuffs for a month; he was released in May 2011, when he fled to Juba, South Sudan. On arrival in Dover, his initial screening asylum interview was carried out while he was still affected by a concussion; after three days’ detention in Dover he was moved to Campsfield on 26 March 2012, where he has been ever since.
This detainee cannot walk for longer than 15 minutes and has chronic pain in his leg, for which he wants medical attention. Malik cannot talk for long before a severe cough prevents him from continuing, as well as having long-term problems with his stomach which predate his arrival in the UK. Despite all this he says the only medical treatment he receives is one tablet, with no medical attention for specific ailments.
Both men were given a disclaimer to sign alleviating UKBA of responsibility for any health damage as a result of the hunger strike, which they refused to do. Malik saw a lawyer on his first day at Campsfield but has had no contact since, and the second detainee has no legal representation. They are willing to be removed to a safe country, even South Sudan; however, the second detainee was told that he cannot be removed to South Sudan, and that even removal to France, where UKBA says they have evidence that he has been, could take a long time. He fears that if sent back to Khartoum, he could be met at the airport and “disappear.”
Since the protest against their indefinite detention began, Malik has been given a date of June 18 for removal to Italy; he is pleased to leave Campsfield but fears conditions will be no better there. By June 18 he will have taken only water for 26 days.
Four other Darfuri men who had been refusing food have been released and two Sudanese men were moved to Harmondsworth, described by UKBA as a “long-term centre” for detainees, in the early hours of Friday morning, where they continue their hunger strike. One, Tarik Adam Rhama, is believed to be from the Nuba mountains, a region currently the target of ethnic cleansing by the Sudanese government, and where bombings of civilians are a daily occurrence.
Another detainee at Campsfield, was forced by a pre-existing medical condition to stop his hunger strike, but also demands his release. He came to the UK after escaping imprisonment in Sudan, where he was attacked by Janjawid, and has visible wounds from his treatment there.
UPDATE 10PM 3/6/12
Malik Ivrahim Adam and the second detainee were today examined by a doctor at the instigation of Campsfield, who told them that they were in a bad condition and should stop their hunger strike. In view of Campsfield’s previous negligence, neither detainee trusted a doctor arranged for them by Campsfield and both are asking to be seen by a doctor from Medical Justice. They have both been moved to London tonight but do not yet know where they are being moved to.
To arrange an interview with Malik Ivrahim Adam or the second detainee, please contact Tim Flatman (07595 908 405, firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nazar Eltahir (07810 890 901, email@example.com).