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Reminder: tomorrow demo at Kalyx in support to the Harmondsworth detainees

no borders | 15.04.2008 17:17 | Migration | Repression | London

The detainees are complaining that they are being deported without having their cases properly heard. The so-called fast-track system means that asylum seekers are not getting enough time to prepare their cases. Legal representation is often of very poor quality. They further say that they are being abused by detention staff.

Demonstrate in solidarity to the Harmondsworth detainees some of whom are still on hunger strike.

Wednesday 16th April
5.30pm to 6.30pm at
Kalyx headquarters,
25 Great Chapel Street (nearest tube Edgware Road).
Called by No Borders London.

Harmondsworth is run by Kalyx (formerly UK Detention Services), a subsidiary of multinational company Sodexo.
On Saturday, 5th April, between 5 and 6am, around 50 agents in riot gear stormed Harmondsworth detention centre to break the detainees hunger strike.They took 30 detainees away and most of them were put in solitary confinement or taken into normal prisons to prevent them from communicating with each other and the outside world. One detainee, who managed to contact supporters, is saying he is bruised all over his body, had injuries from handcuffs and a damaged ankle. He also reported that he saw another detainee being violently 'manhandled' by police.
The detainees' peaceful protest had started at 9am on April 1st, with mass food refusal by almost all of the detainees in the so-called immigration removal centre. Later, they also occupyed the courtyard and around 120 of them remained there all night. A petition, with 116 signatures, has been sent to the European Court of Human Rights, John McDonnell MP and others .


The fast track system was supposedly introduced to deal quickly with claims that are 'clearly unfounded'. Asylum seekers are given only 5 days to prepare their cases and 2 days to appeal. Up to 99% of the claims are refused in the first instance. Most appeals fail too. A very large number of people whose claims are not 'clearly unfounded', including torture and rape survivors, end up on the fast track. Harmondsworth IRC is the main detention centre for experimenting with the 'Detained Fast-Track' category: people are detained as soon as they claim asylum and have to deal with their asylum claim from inside the detention centre
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