Tag Archives: napier

Treat seekers of sanctuary with dignity – close Napier and Penally now

Just when you think you can’t get any more ashamed of the Home Office, they do something that takes your breath away.

Since last September, they have been effectively detaining seekers of sanctuary in two former military barracks in conditions which are less than humane. The Napier site in Kent and the Penally site at Tenby in Wales have housed accommodated hundreds of people in stark conditions. The detainees are supposed to be free to come and go but this does not seem to be how it operates in practice.

At a time when we are being told to socially distance and not mix indoors with other households at all, vulnerable refugees are put into dormitory accommodation. No wonder there have been outbreaks of Covid.

This week Jack Shenker described the harsh reality of their situation in an article in the Guardian:

From the moment the Home Office announced last year that it had struck a deal with the Ministry of Defence to repurpose Napier and another disused military site in Penally, south Wales, for this purpose, an extraordinary array of experts in the field – from doctors to lawyers to migrant support workers – have warned against the idea. Their fear was that following long journeys which had already left people physically and mentally vulnerable, and which were often precipitated by acts of state brutality, a martial environment of high walls and watchtowers was a deeply inappropriate form of accommodation for those seeking asylum, and wouldn’t provide them with the medical support and other basic services needed.

Even more pressingly, concerns were raised about the health implications of herding large numbers of people together during a deadly pandemic. At Napier, meals are served in a communal canteen and up to 28 people share a single sleeping area and two bathrooms, making social distancing impossible. For months, residents – who were theoretically free to come and go during the day, albeit at the sentries’ whim – have been trying to sound the alarm over the deteriorating situation inside: cold and cramped conditions, rising tensions and multiple suicide attempts.

It is of particular concern that volunteers trying to help the detainees have been made to sign confidentiality agreements to stop them revealing conditions at the camps.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • Fiona
    Apologies Alex, I didn't mean to assert we/you were stealing votes from Labour. Just pointing out that is what will be said, whilst others will be mocking us fo...
  • Mary ReidMary Reid
    Bill Brisbane, who won in Chichester, has form in defeating Labour. In 2014 he made inroads into the only Labour held ward in Kingston by splitting the vote and...
  • Helen Dudden
    I think this shows Hancock to be done I couldn't trust. How hurtful for his wife and family. The same goes for his friends family and children. As a woman I ...
  • Steve Trevethan
    Might a more serious related matter be that of equity of law enforcement? Did the people involved break any laws? If so, what is to be done about it?...
  • Peter Martin
    @ Simon, "...some people who will feel excluded and thus negative about this song, and in particular, Northern Ireland." But not these guys! ...