Socialist Worker

Detainees at Campsfield refugee prison near Oxford protest against beating

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2432

29 November 2014: Detainees Protest at Campsfield House IRC from Standoff Films on Vimeo.

Up to 100 detainees at the Campsfield immigration detention centre near Oxford protested last weekend against the beating of a fellow inmate.

They told activists from the Campaign to Close Campsfield that one of them had been beaten by a guard from Mitie Security, which has run the centre since 2011. He has not been seen since. They said that two fellow detainees who were taken to see him were not then allowed to return.

One detainee said, “Campsfield staff have beaten my friend very badly. And they’ve beaten up two or three guys more.”

The protesters occupied the courtyard of the centre. They chanted “England, hear our voice!” and “We want freedom!” They said that they are not being given enough food or medicine.

They say they phoned the police about the beating, but when they arrived guards told them everything was OK.

A detainee asked “If everything is OK where is our guy who was beaten up? This is the second time the same guy has been beaten up. He is mentally disturbed.”

Another said, “They’ve been treating us like dogs. It’s all racist here.”

Detainees say that staff are trying to stop news of the beating from getting out.

Campsfield detainees went on hunger strike in May.

Protest outside Campsfield, 12.30pm, Wednesday 3 December. More information at closecampsfield.wordpress.com

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