Solidarity hunger strike for detained asylum seekers

Article published: Thursday, February 11th 2010

Eighty four Northwest activists will take part in a 24-hour fast this Friday 12 February in support of the 84 detainees on hunger strike in the Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre in Bedfordshire. The female detainees at Yarl’s Wood began their hunger strike to protest at the length of their incarceration in the centre, as well as inhumane treatment.

The purpose of the detainees’ hunger strike, which began on Friday 5 February, is to draw attention to conditions inside the centre. They are demanding access to medical treatment and calling for an end to the detention of women and children.

Yarl’s Wood houses 405 women and children who have come to the UK seeking asylum and is notorious for detaining women for long periods of time. The centre is currently in “lockdown”, meaning that the women are trapped in the communal areas with no access to toilet facilities, food, water or any private space.

Campaigners have stressed that detention should be the last resort when dealing with asylum seekers. 70 per cent of the women interned at Yarl’s Wood have suffered sexual assault in their country of origin, which makes their current situation all the more appalling. The conditions inside Yarl’s Wood have been described as “physical and mental torture” by detainees.

Organiser Jess Bradley said: “These women have come here fleeing persecution. It is a disgrace that they are treated so inhumanely. We support the asylum seekers’ demands and call on the UK Border Agency to take action”.

The 24-hour fast begins at 9am Friday 12 February, finishing at 9am Saturday 13.  Activists from Bradford and Manchester will gather for a public vigil at 12pm Friday in Piccadilly Gardens.

Ruth Michaelson

More: Manchester, News


  1. The “incarcerated” (lol) detainees do not have to stay at Yarl’s Wood – our Home Office will gladly deport them – all expenses paid. The detainees can also choose to “flee” to another country and again scream “ASYLUM, ASYLUM, ASYLUM” due to the so-called “physical and mental torture” at Yarl’s Wood.

    Bon Voyage, and good riddance.

    Comment by Angus on February 11, 2010 at 10:43 pm
  2. yeah, fleeing sexual assault is political correctness gone mad!

    Comment by tom on February 12, 2010 at 12:02 am
  3. What an idiot you are Angus. Many of the people being detained are fleeing abuse or conflict in their own countries. Even if they are not they may well have established a life for themselves here, with family and friends and do not want to be torn away from this.

    Comment by bill on February 12, 2010 at 9:25 am
  4. Angus is clearly an idiot. putting innocent people in prison – esp ones who are escaping torture in other countries – is clear a disgrace – people should watch children of men to see what we are headed for – and i don’t mean the inability to have children.

    Comment by tim on February 12, 2010 at 11:12 am
  5. Tunnel must end vision request change,
    Same process day in day out
    Elastic has to break, Length of detention is like elastic there come a point when it breaks said the high court judge in Mohammed ahmed mohammed’s unlawful declaration in july 09.

    Thank you for all your effort, In soliderity from Harmondsworth irc a Bangladeshi detainee.

    Comment by Ruhul Anam on February 12, 2010 at 3:15 pm
  6. tim is clearly an idiot – Yarl’s Wood is not a prison – it’s a holding centre until failed asylum seekers are hopefully deported.

    youtube?, away an’ read your comics, child.

    Comment by Angus on February 12, 2010 at 11:25 pm
  7. You are the idiot, bill, in believing all that crap about fleeing murder, torture, rape, sexual abuse blah, blah, blah, yawn, yawn, yawn. The “asylum seekers” are liars and freeloaders who have attempted to establish a life in Britain via conning the British people.

    Comment by Angus on February 12, 2010 at 11:27 pm

The comments are closed.