REMEMBER THE DEAD - JUSTICE FOR THE LIVING - END IMMIGRATION DETENTION NOW!
Meet at the main entrance to Harmondsworth and Colnbrook IRCs, West Drayton UB7 0HB
Detainees inside and an anonymous GEO officer confirm his name as Prince Ofosu, a Ghanaian detainee, 31 years old. They say he was forcibly restrained by GEO officers, taken to the 'block' (isolation cells), sustained injuries from being hit by an officer and stripped naked and left for 24 hours with the heating turned off until his death. [***See full statement below***]
WE WILL NOT LET THIS DEATH BE SILENCED - bring banners, whistles, instruments and whatever you can find to make a lot of noise outside the detention centre, and to show solidarity to those still incarcerated inside Harmondsworth & Colnbrook IRCs!
The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman is visiting the detention centre on Tuesday 6th November. Reports say the death has been referred to the Hillingdon coroner but an inquest is not expected to open until the middle of next week.
This is the seventh death of a detainee in Harmondsworth IRC and brings to 17 the total number of deaths in the UK Detention estate.
This is the tip of the iceberg in the untold reality of people suffering at the hands of a racist immigration system that persecutes people because they have the 'wrong' kind of identity and status.
Everyday people without 'correct' identity papers are seized. They are detained and deported. They are racially profiled, picked out because they are 'foreign' and deemed 'undesirable' from society. Every day people face 'identity controls'. They are criminalised and told they are 'illegal'.
This fear of 'others' promoted by governments makes xenophobia and racism normalised and institutionalised.
End to all detention centres, the modern day concentration camps of our society.
Remember the dead - Justice for the Living – End Immigration Detention Now!
Ghanaian Detainees Statement - Death of Prince Ofosu
We are presenting this information from Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre, regarding the death of Prince Ofosu, a detainee aged 31 years.
What we do know about the death of Prince Ofosu, the Ghanaian detainee who died on Tuesday 30th October, 2012 is as follows:
1. Prince Ofosu was forcibly restrained by GEO officers employed by the UKBA.
2. We understand that Prince Ofosu sustained some injuries. The GEO officer, Jim by name who inflicted massive blows on prince Ofosu had some blood stains on his uniform, but he was asked to remove the blood stained clothes so that no one would notice what happened. His clothes were changed for him. That happened in a room known as "block" [rule 40].
3. Currently, in order to pervert the course of justice, the GEO officer Jim purposely applied for leave because of what he has done.
4. A reliable information from another GEO officer who was at the scene, (but wants to remain anonymous), specified that prince Ofosu was stripped naked at the "block" [rule 40] and the heating system was turned off. Prince Ofosu was left in the cold without even a duvet till his death 24 hours after being detained at the block.
5. Another incidence occurred where a Ghanaian by name Kofi, was refusing to be removed or deported. The GEO escort staff, forced Kofi on board the transporting coach. On the way to Stansted airport, Kofi wa injected on his neck on the bus with drug by the escort officer and a GEO nurse. Kofi slept within few seconds and was easily put on the flight PVT090 and deported to Ghana on 5th July 2012. The detainees at Harmondsworth tried contacting Kofi from Ghana but no news about him so far.
6. There are other Ghanaian patients in detention who are not being given medical care as required. One example is a young lad whose blood sample was taken for examination but after two months, he was told they could not find his blood sample, suggesting they don't care whether he survives or dies. This patient also suffers blood pressure and diabetes, but the medication they gave him is Gaviscon and Ibuprofen.
7. There is another who has developed chronic head ache due to the death of Prince Ofosu, for fear that he probably might be the next to be maltreated to death. He was unable to eat or sleep at night.
8. There is yet another with heart failure who, even though has a specialist consultant that only monitors his heart condition, the UKBA has ignored him and has been detained without proper care. He had MRI scan recently, but had not even received medical results from his consultant when he was forced into detention.
9. Furthermore, there is another Ghanaian who has a kidney problem and had his urine sample taken at the clinic for investigation on 17th October, 2012. He was told he would receive the result in five (5) days but till date (2/11/12) nothing was received. The illness is still persistent but there has been no treatment. Suggesting that the UKBA and the GEO staff do not care about his welfare.
10. Finally, there is no permanent doctor here at Harmondsworth IRC clinic. Those doctors who come on duty appears to be part-time (locum) doctors. Each doctor probably comes weekly. When a doctor prescribes medication to a detainee, he or she is not available regularly to monitor the progress of the detained patient.
In conclusion, we in detention appear to be maltreated. Others have much genuine cases but the UKBA tries hard to falsify documents to suit their evil practises.
Signed:.........[concerned Ghanaian detainees]
Source for this Message Ghanaian Detainees
17 deaths in immigration detention, from self-Harm, murder or
±±± Ianos Dragutan (AKA John Yohona) from Modova, died in Campsfield IRC on the 2nd August 2011. Inquest was held at Oxford Old Assizes [ Mr Dragutan had served three months at London's Wandsworth Prison for possessing false documentation before arriving at Campsfield on July 31, the court heard. Two days later officers told Mr Dragutan to collect his belongings for release, although it is believed that he was also due to face questioning in connection with a rape case. When police arrived Mr Dragutan left the waiting room, entered the shower block and hung himself, the court heard. ].
±±± Brian Dalrymple from America died in Colnbrook IRC on 31st July, he was 35 years old. Brian arrived in the UK towards the end of June, he was immediately detained and placed in immigration detention and remained their until his death. UKBA have refused to give cause of death.
±±± Muhammed Shuket from Pakistan, died in Colnbrook IRC 2nd July 2011. UKBA have refused to give cause of death.
±±± Eliud Nguli Nyenze, from Kenya, born 1970 - died Oakington IRC 15th April 2010, death as yet to be determined.
±±± Bereket Yohannes from Eritrea. Detainees at Harmondsworth IRC told NCADC that 26-year-old fellow detainee Bereket Yohannes was found hanged in the showers at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre at 5:25 pm on the afternoon of Thursday the 19th January 2006.
±±± Manuel Bravo, a national of Angola living in Leeds was 'snatched' by immigration officials with his son Antonio on the morning of Wednesday 14th September. In the early hours of Thursday the 15th September 2005
Manuel was found hanging in a stairwell at Yarl's Wood Removal Centre. Manuel and Antonio had been living in Armley, Leeds for the last three years after leaving war-torn Angola. (He killed himself so son could stay)
±±± Ramazan Kumluca, (19), 27/6/05, a Kurdish asylum seeker from Turkey who was found hanged in Campsfield House removal centre in Oxford. He had been detained for five months and was said to be depressed after a bail application was rejected for the third time.
±±± Kenny Peter, 7/11/04, a Nigerian asylum seeker who died in Charing Cross hospital, nearly three weeks after sustaining injuries during an apparent self-harm attempt at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre. It is believed that on 19 October, Kenny jumped from a landing and sustained serious injuries, from which he later died.
±±± Tran Quang Tung, (23), 23/7/04, a Vietnamese man who was found hanged in Dungavel removal centre in Scotland just days after being transferred from Harmondsworth removal centre after the disturbance.
±±± Sergey Barnuyck, (31), 19/7/04, a Ukrainian who was found hanged in Harmondsworth detention centre. His death sparked a night of disturbances at the centre and led to all of the detainees being transferred to prisons and other detention centres.
±±± Kabeya Dimuka-bijoux from DR Congo, 01/05/2004 collapsed and died whilst exercising in the gym at Haslar IRC, Post mortem states cause of death 'undetermined'.
±±± Olga Blaskevica (29) from Latvia, detained in Harmondsworth IRC, murdered by her husband on the 7th May 2003
±±± Mikhail Bognarchuk, (42), 31/1/03, a Ukrainian asylum seeker who was found hanged at Haslar removal centre.
±±± Robertas Grabys, 24/01/00, a Lithuanian asylum seeker who was found hanged in Harmondsworth detention centre on the day he was due to be deported. A report into his death criticised the private company that was in charge of Harmondsworth at the time.
±±± Kimpua Nsimba, 24, 15/06/90, Pr, Zairean asylum-seeker found hanged in Harmondsworth detention centre; no-one had spoken to him in over 4 days,
±±± Siho Iyiguveni, 26, 08/10/89, He and another Turk barricaded (5 October 1989) themselves in a bedroom in Harmondsworth detention centre and set light to bedding, died from injuries sustained.
Driven to Desperate Measures, Institute of Race Relations (IRR)
The IRR published a report in 2010 on deaths of asylum seekers and migrants which damns government policies for putting vulnerable people at risk
77 asylum seekers and migrants have died either in the UK or attempting to reach the UK in the past five years
[These deaths do not include those 'settled' black people, those with leave to remain who have met their death in the custody of the police, prison and psychiatric hospitals and in racial violence attacks]
44 died as an indirect consequence of the iniquities of the immigration/asylum system - by taking their own lives when claims were not allowed, by meeting accidental deaths evading deportation or during the deportation itself, by being prevented medical care, by becoming destitute in the UK.
28 died at their own hand, preferring this to being returned to the country they fled, when asylum claims were turned down. And compounding the process is the fact that some of those in detention and known to be traumatised and particularly vulnerable appear not to have been provided with the medical (especially psychiatric) support they needed.
1 died accidentally as, in terror after a raid by police and immigration officials, he took evasive action.
1 person died during the deportation process itself as he was being deported to Luanda, Angola escorted by three guards from G4S, a private security company.
4 people died after being deported back to a country where they feared for their safety. The actual number is certainly far higher.
7 people died because of being denied health care for preventable medical problems.
2 people died destitute and unable to access services.
1 baby died as a result of possible safety failings of a housing provider contracted by the UK Border Agency (UKBA).
7 died in prison custody, either being held for deportation or while awaiting trial or serving sentences for charges involving false documentation.
4 died in the course of carrying out work which, by virtue of its being part of the 'black economy', carried particular dangers and few protective rights. (The numbers listed here are probably a gross underestimate, as work-related deaths of people who are 'illegal' will often go unreported in the media.)
7 died on the streets of our cities at the hands of racists or as a consequence of altercations with a racial dimension. Often the victims had been moved, via the government's dispersal system, to areas where they were particularly isolated and vulnerable to attack.
15 died taking dangerous and highly risky methods to enter the country. With legal barriers in place to prevent them securing visas or work permits to enter legally and sanctions applying to above board carriers, the desperate stowaway on planes and lorries or attempt to cross the channel in makeshift boats or cling to trains. The number recorded here is probably only a fraction of those who have died in this way. Our figures rely on news reports and, by virtue of the subject matter, these deaths are not news.
Harmit Athwal, the author of the report, said, 'Racism percolates right through the immigration/asylum system - from forcing people to risk life and limb to enter, forcing them to live destitute on the street, prey to violent racist attack. That twenty-eight people died at their own hand, preferring this to being returned, when their asylum application failed, to the country they fled, is a terrible indictment of British justice.'
No section of our society is more vulnerable than asylum seekers and undocumented migrants. Forced by circumstances beyond their control to seek a life outside their home countries, prevented by our laws from entering legally and from working, denied a fair hearing by the asylum system, excluded from health and safety protection at work, kept from social care and welfare, unhoused and destitute, vilified by the media and therefore dehumanised in the popular imagination, their hopes of another life are finally extinguished. The IRR has catalogued a roll call of death of the 77 asylum seekers and migrants who have died either in the UK or attempting to reach the UK in the past five years as a consequence of direct racism or indirect racism stemming from policies.