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[ 04. May 2006 ]

Fight the racist control of the media

Colnbrook Detention Centre

In order to obscure the failures of the British justice system, the press is fuelling racist hysteria in Britain by concentrating on the fact that detainees on early release were migrants or 'foreigners' as they are phrasing it.


This is despite the fact that refugees in detention centres are being illegally locked up and deported against their Human Rights as guaranteed British, European and International law.

They have simultaneously covered up the fact that there is an ongoing Hungerstrike at British Detention Centres and Immigration Removal Centres, where conditions have become so bad that numerous innocent people have died. There has also been a cover up of the beatings by Home Office sanctioned Immigration Officers at SERCO and Premier of migrant detainees who talk to the press in order to expose their treatment.

This amounts to a joint effort by Home Office and the Press to collaborate in the genocide of refugees by beating, torturing and ultimately deporting them to war-zones which they have fled and will certainly be killed.

As Britain becomes more and more of a Police state, on 28th February 2006, the BBC symeltaneously reported the Home Office suspension of senior members of the London Probation over murders committed by released prisoners, along with Mr Clarke's announcement of a plan to send fewer offenders to jail. The resulting panic was managed by the BBC with a report on 19th April that Clerk and the probation service had learnt lessons from the murders committed by released prisoners on probation. However, by 25 April, the focus of the BBC had shifted to so-called 'foreign prisoners' who had been released, in order to scapegoat the most vulnerable section of our community - refugees. And in all of these cases there has still been no judicial trial or fair process - the people were to be 'considered for deportation' - and there has still been no recourse to law.

The latest example is the coverage of the case of the man arrested for - not tried or convicted - only suspected of - the killing of policewoman Sharon Beshenivsky. This, when combined with the fact that the state and the press have covered up the Police killing of Nuur Saeed, an innocent Somalian man in Plumstead in retribution, earlier this year. Nuur Saeed died on 24 January 2006, from injuries he sustained following a police raid on a flat in south east London. He is the most obvious victim of what local residents are calling a "wave of harassment" of the Somali community following the murder of policewoman Sharon Beshenivsky in Bradford last December.

Charles Clarke and the government, instead of taking responsibility for the drastic failures of the justice system has stated that the deportation system should be strengthened. Again this amounts to racism and support for genocide. The fact is that the Criminal Justice Acts of the 90s have proved unworkable and revolution is the only way to resolve these issues. The British press have mostly dealt with the situation by giving increased coverage to far-right racist party BNP.

Returning to the on-going hungerstrike at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre, by people who have been there for months and even years - in a place where they are supposedly being 'fast tracked' for deportation, press and visitors are being denied access to the prisoners who are making allegations of torture and abuse.

When I myself went to Colnbrook to visit detainees, I was quizzed as to whether I was press and accused of having a false passport - and then threatened with violence if I did not leave the site.

This week, in a bid to further deny access to detainees the management at Colnbrook has started using a brand new form at the Visitor Registration desk which asks among other questions : Are you a member of the Press? YES/NO

The situation is a matter of life and death as reports have emerged that Amos Onokare Alijaibo, who :: spoke to the Guardian by telephone from Haslar Detention Centre, Portsmouth, has been moved to Colnbrook. One of his knees and his toes are badly damaged by guards there: that's why he cannot walk. He has also lost use of his hands completely. He is scheduled for deportation on 8th May 2006 and is convinced he will surely die if deported. He is still on hunger strike.

We wish to ask for members of the press and lawyers as well as concerned individuals and organisations to co-ordinate visits to Colnbrook and all other centres in order to protect the lives, rights and dignities of the people who are locked up there without a fair and proper trial and with no recourse to the protection of the law.

This article was published first on 04. May 2006 @ ::, we added some links.