Socialist Worker

Campsfield hunger strikers fight deportation

by Sian Ruddick
Issue No. 2115

Nearly sixty asylum seekers detained at the Campsfield House detention centre, in Oxfordshire, went on hunger strike last week in protest at the brutal treatment they have suffered and their looming deportations.

The strike was initiated by 13 Kurdish asylum seekers and was then joined by others at the site. Many are being threatened with deportation to Iraq.

Fazzel Abdul, one of the detainees, said, “Without any reason we are being held here and they are trying to deport us to the most dangerous country in the world.”

There has been an ongoing campaign to close Campsfield as people are treated and kept in conditions like animals.

Reports were published last month detailing the mistreatment of detainees including alleged physical and verbal abuse.

In June this year two Palestinians and one Afghan man escaped.

The police have described them as “low risk” which begs the question – why were these people being held in the first place?

The detainees called off their strike on Sunday 17 August after being visited by representatives from the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees. They have pledged to continue the campaign against forcible deportations to Iraq.

This month three men who had been held in detention died in separate circumstances.

Husain Ali was killed or committed suicide after being deported from the Easington removal centre to Iraq on 7 August.

Another Iraqi man known only as Mohammad died last week of cancer only a few weeks after being released from a detention centre.

Nader Arabic was an Iranian asylum seeker who had been left in limbo since his arrival in Britain during 2003.

He was found hanged in a park in Manchester.

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Tue 19 Aug 2008, 18:36 BST
Issue No. 2115
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