Yarl’s Wood houses 405 women and children who have come to the UK seeking asylum and is notorious for detaining women for long periods of time. The centre is currently in “lockdown”, meaning that the women are trapped in the communal areas with no access to toilet facilities, food, water or any private space.
Campaigners have stressed that detention should be the last resort when dealing with asylum seekers. 70 per cent of the women interned at Yarl’s Wood have suffered sexual assault in their country of origin, which makes their current situation all the more appalling. The conditions inside Yarl’s Wood have been described as “physical and mental torture” by detainees.
Jess Bradley of No Borders Manchester said: “These women have come here fleeing persecution. It is a disgrace that they are treated so inhumanely. We support the asylum seekers’ demands and call on the UK Border Agency to take action”.
The No Borders 24-hour fast begins at 9am Friday 12 February, finishing at 9am Saturday 13. Activists from Bradford and Manchester will gather for a public vigil at 12pm Friday in Piccadilly Gardens.