First published in The New Arab on 15 September 2016:
Surrounded by barbed wire, 24-hour security and electric fences, Yarl’s Wood looks and sounds like a prison – but it is Britain’s notorious “immigration detention facility”.
Having faced a great deal of public criticism in the past year, on Saturday 10 September there was another call to shut down the only women’s Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) in the UK. This was the ninth in a series of demonstrations, all of which have been demanding its closure after investigations revealed a culture of abusive behaviour, including widespread allegations of sexual abuse.
These allegations come out of only one centre but they highlight systematic problems with UK immigration policy and the case for immigration detention to end in its entirety.