The hunger strike of over 40 women in Yarl’s Wood IRC which started on Monday night in protest at eight women being taken from detention and forced onto a charter flight back to Nigeria, has been suspended.
Four women (and one woman’s partner) DID NOT FLY. But shamefully the Home Office deported two women with severe walking disabilities in wheelchairs
Speaking to Black Women’s Rape Action Project which with the All African Women’s Group has been providing daily support to the hunger strikers, Mercy, one of the women said:
“We are suspending the hunger strike but will continue to protest and speak out. . . the pressure has not stopped – another charter flight is being planned to remove our Latina sisters from tomorrow . . . the Home Office tell us nothing they just come for us in the night . . . they have many ways to torture us . . . the system is wrecking our health. . . they are trying to break us down and isolate from our support networks and lawyer . . . We know people are with us and we thank everyone for their tremendous support. Every message helps us to keep our spirits up.”
Since the strike began national and international messages of support have poured in including from Maru Mora Villalpando, North West Detention Center Resistance and the Latino advocacy organisation a grassroots undocumented led movement in Washington State, USA that works to end the detention of immigrants and stop all deportations.
People will have seen the migrant caravan which has arrived at the Mexican/US border. But what is never mentioned is the US responsibility for destabilising countries – for example it backed a coup in Honduras against elected President Manuel Zelaya and the resulting persecution, poverty and violence forced people to flee their homes.
As ever women – the primary carers for children and loved ones — bear the brunt of unjust immigration policies. Over 70% of women who contact us from Yarl’s Wood are victims of rape and other violence. We support women’s demands to
- Close all detention centres and release people so we can pursue our right to remain
- Stop all charter flights – like the Windrush generation, many people are illegally deported when they still have ongoing cases
- We demand to know what has happened to our disabled sisters and all who were deported on Tuesday night. If five came back, maybe none should have been on the flight!
For more information or to interview women please call on 07456 525 227 or email us.
1 December 2018