Press Release: Local MP Condemns Brutal Detention System and Calls for Local Action.
This week, the voluntary organization Detention Action launched its report ‘The State of Detention.’ www.detentionaction.org.uk
The report reveals that detention has expanded too fast, with insufficient checks and scrutiny. Political priorities to detain and deport have overridden practical considerations of effectiveness, as well as basic concern for the people detained. In the words of the Chief Inspector of Prisons, following the death in handcuffs of an elderly man with dementia, “a sense of humanity has been lost.”
The report also highlights the fact that the UK is the only European Country that routinely detains migrants in prisons, a practice that is unlawful in the rest of the EU. They are also criticised for detaining a larger number of migrants, for longer periods of time with their sentence being indeterminate with a high percentage being eventually released into the community.
With two detention centres in his constituency, Harmondsworth and Colnbrook, local MP John McDonnell spoke at the launch of the report.
John said; “This is a shocking indictment of the detention system that is operating place within our community. Many detainees are trapped in the detention system for long periods of time without even knowing when they will be released. Many suffer from mental health problems or are victims of torture and should never have been detained in the first place. Thousands are then released without support into the community.
This brutal system is operating on our doorstep. That’s why I think that we have a moral responsibility as a local community to offer our assistance to those who are languishing in our local detention centres. With Colnbrook and Harmondsworth Detention centres in my constituency I am only too well aware of the unnecessary suffering that these detention centres are causing. This month I will be bringing local religious and communities together to discuss how we can assist in the campaign to improve their situation and stop people suffering in this way”.
For further comment contact John on 07956292576