On January 29th 2014 Women for Refugee Women published a new report, Detained: women asylum seekers locked up in the UK. They talked to 46 women who were detained after coming to the UK to seek sanctuary. Most of the women said that they had experienced rape or other forms of torture in their home countries. They were told that being locked up in the UK added to their trauma. One in five of the women spoken to said they had tried to kill themself in detention.
This morning, the report was launched in Parliament with a reception hosted by Stella Creasy MP. The audience heard from actress Romola Garai, who recently visited Yarl's Wood detention centre with Women for Refugee Women, and described it as a 'bleak Orwellian nightmare'.
They also heard from Lydia Besong, playwright, who was detained twice in the UK. 'Being detained in the UK brought back all the memories of torture,' she said.
Richard Fuller MP said about detaining women: 'It's ineffective, inexpensive and unjust. It's just plain wrong,' and Steve Reed MP said that women in the asylum process should be treated with compassion. Philippe Sands QC said, 'Yarl's Wood should be shut down forthwith.'
More information available at http://refugeewomen.com/