By Ian Dunt, Feb. 5, 2014
An occasional series of Immigrant Stories, shining a light on the people trapped in Britain’s immigration system.
“I was working in a local hospital when I saw these women come in with handcuffs on,” Susan says.
Susan is not her real name. She talks on condition of anonymity.
“I asked about it. It was clear they’d committed no crime.
“They’d been hunger striking in the corridors of the nearby detention centre. They were grabbed by the guards.
“The nursing notes said they had no injuries and were fine. When I saw them they clearly had wrist bruises which they sustained in Yarl’s Wood. There were bruises on their backs as well. They were very distressed.”
Susan’s experience left her disturbed. Why were women who had committed no crime arriving in handcuffs, bruised, under detention?
A little while later she read a newspaper report about Yarl’s Wood. Security personnel were guarding the perimeter fence against a reverend dressed as Santa trying to give gifts to the children locked up inside.