A man facing deportation to Jamaica has climbed out of his window in Brook House detention centre with a broken arm, under threat of further violence from the guards in their attempts to remove him. He is threatening to harm himself further and has taken a sheet from his bed and razor blades. As of 12.15am, the guards are pepper spraying him.
On the evening of March 6th – 2 days before a scheduled charter flight to Jamaica – at around 10pm the detainee refused to leave his room when guards came to take him. He was being moved to another detention centre in order to facilitate his removal from the UK on tomorrow’s charter flight to Jamaica – the second of these flights since they stopped in 2014. Other detainees were placed under lockdown and the guards put on riot gear and attacked him. They have broken his left arm and he is clinging to the mesh outside of the window. Police have been called by a detainee and say they cannot help. Other detainees are showing support by making noise and contacting outside for help, but are under individual lockdown in their rooms.
The Unity Centre received several calls from distressed detainees who were coughing uncontrollable and had difficulties speaking, because the guards had opened the roof of the building and turn on the air conditioning at full blast. The guards only closed the roof the next morning. Many detainees are concerned about their health, as they say many were already beginning to feel unwell.
The Unity Centre and other grassroots migrant support groups oppose this and all charter flights. This charter is the second in six months to Jamaica – the last one in September 2016 saw families ripped apart and one returnee killed shortly after return, for the very reason he claimed asylum for in the UK previously.
The British High Commissioner in Jamaica has issued a statement in response to The Unity Centre’s publicised concerns. The Home Office is pressuring people to sign voluntary return papers without providing adequate legal advice or alternative options.
Messages are continuing to be received from family members and detainees horrified by the prospect of being permanently ripped away from the UK in one days time. One detainee said, “I’d rather be dead than deported.”
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