Tag Archives: hunger strike

Press release: International Women’s Day solidarity with Yarl’s Wood hunger strikers

International Women’s Day vigil

5pm Thursday 8 March 2018, Carfax, Oxford

in support of the demands of women on hunger strike in Yarl’s Wood migrant prison Bedfordshire

and the 24-hour solidarity Freedom Fast

On 21 February, more than 120 people detained in Yarl’s Wood engaged in a three-day hunger strike protesting the lack of a time limit for how long people can be detained and the inhumane conditions of the centre itself. On 26 February, they escalated to an all-out strike, releasing a statement saying “we will cease to participate in detention, we will not eat, use their facilities or work for them.” Continue reading

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Press statement: hunger strike ended at Campsfield‏

PRESS RELEASE 14 May 2014

The hunger strike protest at Campsfield ended on Saturday after 3
days. An outbreak of flu was a contributing factor.

The demand of the protesting detainees was to close all immigration
detention centres in the UK.

hungerstrikersdemand2014

Continue reading

PRESS RELEASE Campsfield detainees go on hunger strike as protests by immigration detainees spread

PRESS RELEASE 7 May 2014

Once again, detainees at Campsfield are on hunger strike.

The hunger strike began this morning (7th May) with the simple demand
to close all immigration detention centres in the United Kingdom.
Detainees believe their detention is a breach of their human rights. Continue reading

UPDATE on hunger strikers

Tarik Adam Rahma’s removal directions have been cancelled. Thanks so much to everyone who took action today. Concerns persist about his health and continued detention. Updates will be posted when possible.

In addtion, Ali Abdullah Ahmed has been released from detention. Thanks too to all who called for his release.

 

UKBA breaching own guidelines on detention of torture victims ~Sudanese man’s hunger strike reaches 56 days ~ PLEASE CONTACT AIRLINE TODAY TO STOP DEPORTATION TOMORROW

TARIK ADAM RAHMA, a victim of torture under the current Khartoum regime has been on hunger strike for 56 days in protest against his indefinite detention. The UK Border Agency’s own guidelines explicitly state that victims of torture cannot be held in detention.

His condition, of deep concern to medical organisations, has worsened due to UKBA failing to provide him with regular attention from a doctor, despite extreme stomach pain and stabbing pains in his chest, as well as back pain from a pre-existing condition.

In his medical report, Medical Justice has stated “This failure to manage him appropriately is very concerning and puts the patient at significant risk.  In our opinion Tarik Rahma was not fit for detention at the time we saw him and we are certain that he had not been fit for detention for several days”.

As a non-Arab Darfuri, Tarik is classed by current case law as being at risk of persecution should he be returned to Darfur.

Detention Action said: “A paracetamol cannot cure the scars left by torture in Darfur or the mental anguish that comes from being locked up indefinitely in a detention centre in the UK. The courts have ruled that people with serious mental illnesses were not and cannot be properly looked after in detention centres. And in our experience, almost everyone’s physical and mental health deteriorates while they are in detention. For people with complex mental health issues, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from torture, this deterioration is dramatic.”

Olivia Warham, Waging Peace Director said – “Holding victims of torture in detention is a breach of UKBA’s own guidelines. This man has suffered from torture in Sudan and came to the UK to find safety in asylum. Instead of refuge he has been subjected to further anguish that has severely impacted on his medical condition. The UKBA should adhere to its own guidelines immediately.”

Freedom from Torture report The Second Torture says: “Policy guidance and legislation make clear that individuals who have independent evidence of torture should be released, absent very exceptional circumstances.”  The report examined 50 separate cases where a person with ‘medical evidence that accords well with their account of torture’ was held in detention between May 2010 and May 2011.  They speak of the “shameful circumstances in which torture survivors are routinely held in immigration detention in the UK”.

Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said: “Concerns about the healthcare provided to asylum seekers in immigration detention are not new and need to be taken seriously. Asylum seekers often face particularly serious physical and mental health problems as a result of their experiences, so it is essential their health needs are addressed while in detention. The government is depriving people of their liberty, and it is a matter of the utmost importance that those people receive the same standard of healthcare that one would expect if living in the community.”

Tarik has removal orders for Thursday 19 July. His solicitor lodged a application for Judicial Review last week, and his removal orders should have been cancelled as a result. Campaigners are concerned that the UK Border Agency have not yet done so and are asking supporters to contact Alitalia airline calling on them to give assurances they will not fly him. There are suspicions that the UK Border Agency knew they would not be able to deport Tarik and issued removal directions ahead of his bail hearing, which had to be cancelled as a result.

Notes:

1. Ali Abdullah Ahmed also remains in detention at Harmondsworth and on hunger strike. Campaigners are hopeful that legal action will secure his release shortly.

2. The text of the callout sent to supporters of Tarik and Ali reads as follows:

TELL ALITALIA AIRLINES NOT TO DEPORT TARIK, ON HUNGER STRIKE FOR 56 DAYS

The UK Border Agency have issued removal orders for Tarik Adam Rahma, a Darfuri torture survivor judged by Medical Justice as unfit for detention and who has now been on hunger strike for 56 days. Although his solicitor applied for Judicial Review last week and the removal orders should therefore be cancelled, the UKBA has not yet cancelled them and as things stand he will be removed on Thursday morning at 6.50am, flight AZ201 at Heathrow Terminal 4.

Please contact Alitalia, calling on them not to fly Tarik on Thursday. You could tell them that with an outstanding application for Judicial Review, they will be participating in an illegal deportation if they fly Tarik.

You could also tell them that he will be in an incredibly weak state due to his ongoing hunger strike, and that he is not fit to fly. If he should pass out or worse during the flight, his supporters will hold them responsible and consider taking legal action against them.

Ask Alitalia to give written assurances that they will not fly Tarik.

Email: customer.relationsUK@alitalia.it (you may wish to copy in Alitalia’s media team – zivillica.antonella@alitalia.it; mangone.valentina@alitalia.it; sanguinetti.paolo@alitalia.it; speranza.giovanna@alitalia.it )

Fax: 0870 2255 088
Tel: 0844 8153649

You may wish to contact the UK Border Agency directly, asking why they have not yet cancelled Tarik’s removal orders and calling on them to release him from detention. Some numbers that have previously worked include: 0208 588 2923 / 0207 035 0195

Model text for emails and faxes (feel free to adapt or write your own):

Dear Alitalia

You may not be aware that a torture survivor from Darfur, Tarik Adam Rhama, is booked on flight AZ201 at 6.50am on Thursday 19 July.

Tarik does not wish to fly. He has been on hunger strike for 56 days as of 18/07/12, and it is unlikely he will be fit to fly. You have a duty of care to all your passengers, and should not fly persons who are in no condition to travel.

Tarik’s solicitor lodged an application for Judicial Review last week; his removal orders should have been cancelled as a result, and he should not be flying. The UKBA have not yet cancelled his removal orders for reasons known only to them; having been made aware of the impending Judicial Review, you should not fly him regardless of the UKBA’s failures.

Aside from the reasons above, Tarik should never have been placed in this situation. He should have been granted asylum at the outset as he is a non-Arab Darfuri, classed by current case law as being at risk should he be returned to Darfur. Returning him to Italy could be the first step to returning him to Darfur, where he will be in severe danger. The reputation of you airline is at risk. Please be aware that should you fly Tarik on Thursday, I will refuse to use Alitalia and encourage my friends and contacts to do likewise.

Please reply confirming that you will not fly Tarik on Thursday.

Yours sincerely

YourName

HUNGER STRIKER RETURNED TO DETENTION AFTER HOSPITALISATION

Darfuri hunger striker Tarik Adam Rhama was hospitalised briefly on 3rd July. After being stabilised, he was returned to Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre where he has continued to refuse food until and including today, the 44th day of the hunger strike. Tarik’s request for a lower bunk bed he was capable of climbing into was finally accepted following intervention from an MP. An investigation has been launched into why this request was initially refused. An application for bail has been lodged today by Tarik’s solicitor.

Ali Abdullah Ahmed, also on day 44 of his hunger strike, is still waiting for an age assessment, the delay to which could itself be grounds for releasing him. Medical Justice have visited both men and expressed concerns at the deterioration of their physical and mental health while in detention.

Participants in the 600-strong Sudanese protest marching from Lancaster Gate to Downing Street, and from thereon to the Sudanese Embassy, were leafleted and encouraged to call the Home Office demanding the release of the hunger strikers on Saturday 30th June 2012. A facebook group has also been launched at http://www.facebook.com/CallTodayToFreeUksHungerStrikers

SUDANESE DETAINEES ENTER SECOND MONTH OF HUNGER STRIKE AMID SERIOUS HEALTH CONCERNS

Two Sudanese men currently detained in Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre in London have been on hunger strike for 37 days in protest against their indefinite detention, and are determined to continue until they are released. Visitors and human rights activists supporting their cases are extremely concerned for their health.

Tarik Adam Rhama and Ali Abdullah Ahmed began their strike on 22 May in Campsfield IRC (Kidlington, nr. Oxford) but have since been moved to Harmondsworth. Tarik reports that he was subject to torture while imprisoned in Sudan, while a medical examination could not show conclusively that Ali is over 18. Both should therefore fall under UKBA’s category of “persons considered unsuitable for detention.” Their state of health and the fact that neither of their removals is imminent argue further for their release.

Both men are non-Arab Darfuris and are therefore classed by current case law as being at risk of persecution should they be returned to Darfur; Tarik was arrested in 2008 in Khartoum and believes he would be killed if he were to be returned to Sudan. His father is from the Tunjur tribe and his mother is from the Nuba mountains, a region whose inhabitants are currently the target of considerable persecution at the hands of the Sudanese government; upon his arrival in Dover in March 2012, he was immediately detained, then moved to Campsfield, where he began his strike after being in detention without indication of when he might be released for over two months.

There are further complaints relating to inhumane treatment and lack of medical care in detention; an independent doctor’s report described observations of Ali’s vital signs taken by the detention centre during his strike as “sporadic.” At one point, staff at Harmondsworth ignored Tarik’s request for a lower bed when he complained that after 30 days of only water he was too weak to climb up to the top bunk bed he was allocated. He is not receiving regular attention from a doctor, but only from a nurse, despite extreme stomach pain and stabbing pains in his chest, as well as back pain from a pre-existing condition. He cannot walk without difficulty or speak loudly. He is not kept informed of what will happen to him.

Access to legal advice with appropriate translation has also been very infrequent. At over thirty days into his hunger strike, although legal appointments had been conducted with translators present, they had been Algerian or Iraqi rather than speakers of Sudanese Arabic.

Campaigners have vowed to continue calling for both men’s release; demonstrators in London on 30th June participating in one of a number of protests around the world against Sudan’s NCP regime on its 23rd anniversary will also be encouraged to contact the Home Office in support of the hunger strikers’ pleas.

All other Sudanese men who maintained the hunger strike started on 22 May have now been released. Many of the same factors applicable in the cases of those who have been released are also present in Tarik and Ali’s cases. Campaigners say this is a further demonstration of the arbitrary nature of immigration detention and UK Border Agency decision making.