Getting Voices Heard!
SOAS Detainee Support Group is committed to making sure the voices of those we visit in and outside of Immigration Detention are heard as we hope the reality of their suffering will make the need for drastic change apparent. We intend to use this space and others to do so.
An example is the new radio project ‘Beyond the Detention Walls’ which you can access on: https://soasdetaineesupport.wordpress.com/radio-show/
However we also welcome requests for interviews, pieces, contacts with members of our group or ex or current detainees if we consider your request to be satisfactory. Furthermore the consent, integrity and safety of those we visit is our first priority.
However we have been willing to work together with independants and others in the past:
Message from Simeon, detained Colnbrook 2012
Shazia’s Story, was detained in Yarls Wood 2012
Shazia asked her visitor to post this on our website. Her account details the forceful atttempt to deport another detainees, how Shazia and other women went on hunger strike and about the three days Shazia had to spend in isolation, ‘Kingfisher Unit’ because of her perceived role as ‘ringleader’. She wanted to share her story with as many people as possible so people find out about what is going on in Yarls Woof.
Story of Sarah
|“Our experience with UKBA and their contractors such as Yarls Wood were nothing but a nightmare.|
I have a befriender, her name is Nat, she comes to visit me every week at Yarlswood Detention Centre. She listens intently to my weekly episoides with great enthusiasm. I have developed a friendship that I find rewarding and extremely helpful.
Nat is my only friend that binds me to the outside. She helped me in my hour of need when I had managed to destroy all relationships with family friends along the way. My chaotic drug use has inevitably led to 9 months in a Detention Centre and facing deportation after living in the UK for 35 years.
I feel comfortable disclosing personal details of my life and know that Nat would not betray my trust. Nat helps me with day to day aspects of my Human Rights case. She endeavours to do her best to make sure my case progresses in the right direction. She informs me of organizations like Medical Justice and buys me phone credit so that I can call my lawyers.
Nat has been an integral part of my recovery and continued progress through detention. I suggest if you do not have a befriender, make sure you get one. Befrienders have the knowledge to help you; they are more than just a friend, they are a lifeline.
I hope after reading this letter of support you see the value and benefits of such an organization as Befrienders.”
Sarah, detained in Yarls Wood, 2011