Anti-detention campaigners 5 August held a small, but noisy, protest at Colnbrook immigration prison, near Heathrow airport, where two migrant prisoners apparently killed themselves in less than a month. With a megaphone, whistles, a vuvuzela and pots and pans, they made themselves heard to the migrants locked up in Colnbrook, as well as in the adjacent Harmondsworth. Detainees shouted back 'freedom, freedom' and other angry, desperate slogans.
On 31st July, a 25-year-old man in Colnbrook reportedly killed himself. No details or hard facts are known yet. The Home Office is claiming that he died of 'natural causes' but fellow detainees told campaigners he committed suicide after becoming “very distressed.”
Less than a month before, on 2nd July, another Colnbrook detainee, Muhammed Shuket from Pakistan, died on the way to hospital after he apparently tried to hang himself. Again, the Home Office refused to reveal any details and promised “an inquest in due course.”
Earlier this week, on 2nd August, a 35-year-old man locked up in Campsfield immigration prison in Oxfordshire was also found dead. According to other detainees, the Moldovian national was about to be deported and hanged himself in the toilet.
The three deaths bring the number of people who have died in UK immigration prisons over the last few years to 16. These crimes should stop and the only way to do that is to close down all immigration prisons and stop forcibly deporting people who have come here to seek refuge and safety.