By Margaret Woods
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Solidarity demonstration for detainees at Dungavel

This article is over 8 years, 11 months old
Issue 2456
Protesters demand an end to detention
Protesters demand an end to detention (Pic: Stephen McBroom)

Up to 400 people joined a demonstration outside Dungavel detention centre in Scotland last Saturday. The protest was called by the Scottish TUC (STUC).

Refugees in the centre have recently been on hunger strike. 

Protesters were angry that despite this the STUC, religious and other groups were denied access to visit the detainees to assess the situation.

The centre has faced strong opposition and demands that it be shut down ever since it opened. 

Controversy over the centre forced the Home Office to abandon the detention of children there.

The Scottish National Party government has now joined the demands to close the centre—and we should pressure SNP MPs to demand this in parliament.

Britain is the only country in Europe that detains people indefinitely.

A recent report showed that detaining people for more than a month causes serious trauma.

Over 3,000 people are currently in detention—some for as long as five years.

A dawn raid on a family in Glasgow last week caused further anger. It took place while the father was out, and the mother and children were put on a flight to Africa within 12 hours. 

Sustained campaigning in Glasgow had ended such raids and people are in no mind to allow them to resume.

STUC leaders and religious groups addressed Saturday’s protest along with Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees. 

Amal Azzudin from the Glasgow Girls, former detainee Pinar Aksu and human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar also spoke.

The crowd was angry at being kept out of the car park, where protests are usually held.

It swept past police to bang on the fence and chant in solidarity so that detainees could hear the protest.

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