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Sri Lankan detainees go on hunger strike in Harmondsworth

transmitter | 23.07.2007 18:06 | Migration | Repression | Birmingham | London

Some 29 Sri Lankan Tamil nationals have reportedly gone on hunger strike at the Harmondsworth detention centre in London in protest at a Home Office decision to deport them back to Sri Lanka tomorrow. Harmondsworth has been the sight of continued resistance, with repeated hunger strikes, riots and demonstrations.

Earlier this month, two Tamil Jaffna residents, who had sought refugee status in Britain after fleeing the conflict in the North, started an indefinite hunger strike as their asylum applications were turned down and they were subsequently interned in Harmondsworth detention centre near Heathrow. By Saturday, however, a further 27 Sri Lankan Tamils at the same detention centre joined in the strike.

According to the detention centre's management, the two Sri Lankans who started the hunger strike on July 9 have not had water or food and their health is deteriorating.

According to the Daily Mirror, another Tamil refugee who was deported from London last week was arrested in Sri Lanka and is being detained in Negombo. CID sources at the Katunayake international airport confirmed to the Daily Mirror that the immigrant was arrested on the 18th of this month and placed under detention in Negombo.

Meanwhile, the Asian Tribune reported that immigration authorities in Thailand continued to remain tight-lipped about the plight of a group of Sri Lankans languishing at an immigration detention centre and in other prisons in Thailand. The Bangkok based UNHCR's Public Relations and Information Officer for Asia, Kitty McKinsey told Asian Tribune, that they had no access to those Sri Lankans detained in the detention centres.



'Troubles' at three detention centres

23.07.2007 21:56

There are rumours that Sri Lankan detainees were refusing to return to their rooms during the day at Harmondsworth, Haslar and Oakington detention centres. The Home Office has refused to confirm that there is a hunger strike.

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69 people reported on hunger strike

24.07.2007 11:39

The hunger strike is happening in four different detention centres.
The numbers of Sri Lankans on hunger strike are as follows:

Haslar 10

Harmondsworth 28

Oakington 23

Tynsley 8

Numbers are provisional. Numbers obtained by the National Coalition of Anti Deportation Campaigns.