Two deaths, one week

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At Detention Action we were saddened to learn that in one week there have been two deaths in detention. While the facts of both incidents are still emerging, at this time our thoughts are with the friends and families of the deceased, and all of those who remain indefinitely detained.

According to reports, Tarek Chaudhery was the subject of a fatal assault in Colnbrook IRC on 1 December. Tarek, who was allegedly in poor health, was taken to hospital where he later died. Zana Assad Yusif, who was also detained at Colnbrook, has been charged with murder and appeared on 3 December at Hendon Magistrates Court.

It has also been confirmed by Home Office officials that a 49-year-old man, who was detained in Morton Hall in Lincolnshire, died on Tuesday. It has been reported that he died in hospital and that the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman is carrying out the investigation.

This year there have been four deaths in UK detention centres. The death in Morton Hall marks the 28th death in detention since 2000.

Irrespective of the circumstances, the bare minimum we expect from immigration detention centres is that they guarantee the safety and security of those in their protection. The Home Office owes a duty of care to people in detention and this must be upheld.

Detention destroys lives, devastates families and ruptures communities. The movement for reform has been galvanised thanks to the courage and determination of experts-by-experience and campaigners, together with the findings of the Detention Inquiry and the Home Office’s own Shaw Review.

The Government promised to overhaul the UK’s detention system. As part of #Unlocked16 we are asking supporters to contact their MP to hold the Government to account, for more details see here.