Detainees victimised for speaking out

On 11 March Nottingham RCG attended a demonstration outside Morton Hall immigration detention centre in Lincolnshire. After the demo, two detainees Nariman Jalal Karim and Raffael Ebison, who spoke out on the day against their treatment, were seized by the guards and moved nearly 200 miles away.

When we arrived, the prison authorities put on loud music and gave the men cola and ice cream and told them that any noise they might hear outside was because of a football team. The men were not fooled. Raffael turned off the music and Nariman, who is from Iranian Kurdistan and is being threatened with deportation to Iraq, climbed the interior fence to speak to us. He shouted to us about how he would continue to fight for freedom and thanked us for not forgetting about the people in Morton Hall.

The last four months have seen two deaths in Morton Hall. On 6 December 2016 49-year-old Bai Ahmed Kabia fell down in his room, ‘foaming at the mouth’, according to a report on Detained Voices. Nurses were called at 3pm. He was taken to hospital four hours later, where he died. He had been detained for over three years. On 11 January, Lukasz Debowksi, a 27-year-old Polish man, killed himself. Just before Christmas he had been refused bail because his partner, who was heavily pregnant, could not get to the hearing to confirm that she would stand surety for him. She gave birth to their son on the day that Lukasz took his own life. A prisons inspectorate report, released on 21 March, stated that incidents of self-harm had nearly tripled since the previous report in 2013.

Nariman and Raffael were moved to Brook House detention centre near Gatwick. Brook House is operated by G4S and was the scene of vicious staff behaviour at the beginning of March, as they tried to force detainees onto a ‘charter flight’ deportation to Jamaica. On 6 March, one detainee, Darren C, refused to leave his room to board the flight. Other detainees were placed on lockdown as the guards donned riot gear, fired teargas, broke Darren’s left arm and left him clinging to the mesh wire outside his window.

Raffael and Nariman want everyone to know what is going on in detention. Their resistance demands our support, and we must extend our solidarity by fighting for an end to detention and against the racism of the British state.

Séamus Padraic

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 256 April/May 2017


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