Press release: Refugee rights campaign
There has been systematic failure of refugees by the Home Office. This is shown in the Refugee Action report, but that is just one source of evidence. The report reveals how those who flee persecution or war are mistreated by the Home Office. At various stages of the asylum process refugees are dehumanised.
Lawanya, Refugee Rights Campaign organiser, said: “We, the Refugee Rights Campaign, strongly condemn the Home Office for its outrageous treatment of vulnerable people. We not only raise awareness of the inhumane action by the Home Office. We have been protesting against these actions. Many refugees who were/are brutalised by this system have provided evidence to us. They, people who have already undergone torture in their home country, are facing mental pressure and depression because of this asylum process. Having escaped hell, they are then forced to undergo detention, impoverishment and even face homelessness. And more than that, their lives are left in limbo. No one can have a life while not knowing what rights you have – to stay, to work, to access health, to live.”
Mathan, who originates from Sri Lanka is a volunteer with Refugee Rights. He was detained for three months and asked to work for £1/hour in the detention centre. He said: “One fellow who stayed with me committed suicide in the detention centre. We were put in a cell and locked. It was like a prison. Only limited food was provided. Medical Centres are open only for a limited time. The Home Office pays only £37.75 which is not enough and solicitors demand a lot of money from us to precede with the case”.
Sayanthan, another Refugee Rights activist, was hospitalised for a heart attack after the deep and painful distress caused at the hands of the Home Office.
Lawanya herself was detained on her wedding day so that she and her husband were forced to exchange rings at the detention centre. Immediately she arrived, in her gown, she was given a food hygiene test so that she can work in the kitchen for £1/hour.
Lawanya explains: “These are just some small samples of refugees’ voices. These are not criminals. These are young people wanting to contribute to society, wanting to build lives, have families. There are so many other unheard or suppressed voices. We, Refugee Rights, take these cases and bring them into the light. This is a campaign set up by refugees who have decided to come together to organise, campaign and fight for their rights.”
On behalf of Refugee Rights, we put forth the following demands:
• Immigrants who had been tortured should not be detained and the detained ones need to be compensated. Shut down the detention centres
• Refugees should be allowed to work and study.
• Free healthcare services should be provided.
• Refugees should not be treated as criminals.
Please contact us for any queries or interviews. Refugees will be willing to speak about their experience with the Home Office, with lawyers, and with unscrupulous exploitative bosses.
• Contact Lawanya- 07809 269672