7 January 2013
A leading human rights lawyer has called for more to be done in the care and treatment of detainees at immigration detention centres following a riot at a Lincolnshire detention centre, which injured five officers.
Up to 40 detainees were involved in the incident at Morton Hall immigration removal centre in Swinderby, which saw one detainee taken to hospital and led to 12 others being transferred to other centres.
Jamie Beagent from law firm Leigh Day, who has successfully represented many individuals who have brought claims for unlawful detention and who is currently bringing a legal challenge to the wholesale failure in the safeguards that are supposed to prevent the detention of torture survivors, said:
“This disturbance highlights the desperate plight of detaining people indefinitely without hope. These people do not know what their future is, they do not know how long they will be deprived of their freedom - which could be for years.
“We are also concerned that many are mentally ill and are victims of torture, detained with wholly inadequate facilities and support services for long term incarceration."
Staff were injured on December 30, the UKBA said, while up to 50 detainees were also involved in a protest on Christmas Day, during which no-one was injured.
Both incidents were brought under control within an hour. In September last year, 18 asylum seekers went on hunger strike at Morton Hall because they did not want to be sent back to Afghanistan.
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