IMMIGRATION DETAINEEES’ HUNGER STRIKE ENTERS WEEK FOUR AS CAMPAIGN FOR THEIR RELEASE MOUNTS

Four Sudanese men currently detained in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook
Immigration Removal Centres in London have taken only water for 26
days in a protest at their indefinite detention which began at
Campsfield IRC, near Oxford.

Following a demonstration in central Oxford on 1 June, campaigners
bombarded the Home Office with phone calls demanding the release of
the hunger strikers and other Sudanese detainees on Tuesday 12 June,
and have vowed to continue to do so regularly until those demands are
met. A petition containing over 180 signatures will also be sent to
the Home Office on Monday 18 June; it calls for the detainees’
immediate release and registers concern at both their treatment in
detention and the fact that the UK Border Agency “feels it appropriate
to detain people who have been subject to illegal imprisonment,
torture, bombings, shootings, have had family members killed by
militias and who have visible wounds and injuries relating to these
experiences.”

Five detainees have been released since the start of the hunger
strike, including one underage boy who was detained despite under-18s
being listed by the UK Border Agency as “Persons considered unsuitable
for detention.” His age was disputed by UKBA and his release came as
their claims that he was old enough to be held indefinitely became
untenable.

One man, Malik Ivrahim Adam, remains in detention and on hunger strike
in Colnbrook IRC despite a successful judicial review rendering his
removal, attempted by UKBA, illegal; after this his release should
have been immediate as his removal can no longer be described as
imminent. Before being moved to Colnbrook ahead of his proposed
removal, Malik was detained in Campsfield IRC for six months after
fleeing political persecution in his native Darfur, where his brother
was killed for his political affiliations. He will apply for temporary
admission and his MP will make urgent representations calling for his
release.

Three men continue their strike in Harmondsworth IRC, including a Darfuri man who came to the UK to seek medical treatment for a gunshot wound to the leg sustained during an attack by the Sudanese armed forces on his village in 2007, and another detainee who is believed to be under 18. Three others who were unable to continue the strike remain in detention at Campsfield, including Sharif Abdulrahman Mohammed, who escaped imprisonment in Sudan before coming to the UK.
All three left Sudan fleeing political persecution and have
outstanding medical conditions from their treatment there; one is due
to be deported on Tuesday 19 June. The campaign for the release of all
the remaining detainees continues.

– Tim Flatman

NOTES: The petition for the Sudanese detainees’ release can be found
online at http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/sudanesehungerstrike

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