There was a mass deportation charter flight to Pakistan from UK on 6th February 2012, it’s unclear if this was the first. Another took place on 19th March 2012 [PVT120] at least one of the airport-transfer buses for this flight was branded “Just Go! Holidays by Coach” and the plane allegedly departed from London Stansted Airport. Then, another took place on 11thApril 2012, and another on 1st May 2012
In the main centres in which many ‘failed’ asylum seekers (inclusive of many people from Pakistan)xi are held before deportation, the following types of targeting measures have been undertaken (the descriptions below do not cover the brutalisation – some would say torture – of targeted ‘Others’ that occurs whilst restrained and in transit to the airport or detention centres, and also whilst detained in detention centres) :xii
25th from Pakistan] detained at Yarl’s Wood immigration [detention centre] in Bedfordshire … which began on 5th February and involved some 84 women at the start, was sparked by detainees protesting against their prolonged detention and inhumane treatment at the hands of the Serco security guards and the immigration authorities. The hunger strikers’ demands included an end to the “physical and mental torture at the centre” and “all false allegations and misrepresentations by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) regarding detainees”; an end to the detention of children and their mothers, rape survivors and other torture victims and to the separation of children from their mothers.
Two and a half weeks on, at least 20 women are still on hunger strike, while others have stopped but are refusing to eat the “repugnant” food provided by the prison management. On the 8th February, Serco security guards tried to break up the protest by force. Some 70 women were locked in a corridor for up to 8 hours without access to food, water, toilet or medical care. Many collapsed and about 20, who tried to climb out of the windows, were beaten up and taken into isolation cells. Four of the women, singled out as ‘ringleaders’, were taken to Bedford police station and subsequently transferred to HMP Holloway in London, without being charged with any offence or brought before a judge. Testimonies by Yarl’s Wood detainees, many of whom have fled torture, rape and destitution, have revealed that racial, psychological and physical abuse had been inflicted on the hunger strikers by Serco staff. xiii
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All proceeds from the sale of the book support the work of the BPCA. Much of the early sales will be used to support victims of the Peshawar bomb attacks – December 2013.