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22th September 2013

Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre 

End systematic abuse, including sexual abuse & the denial of human rights

Demand full public inquiry into 

Yarl's Wood NOW




Women detainees and ex-detainees have been coming forward to speak out about the abuse they suffered and witnessed, and to demand redress. The racist and sexist regime, of legal, psychological and physical abuse which women frequently describe as mental torture at Yarl's Wood, has been covered up for far too long. The women imprisoned in Yarl's Wood are systematically set up for abuse by the fact that they are treated as liars, who must prove themselves truthful whilst being detained indefinitely. 

By law the 'burden of proof' in the asylum & immigration system means they are guilty until proven innocent. The women in Yarl's Wood have between them successfully escaped every kind of abuse and violence that women commonly face around the world - rape, sexual abuse, forced marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, trafficking, domestic violence, child abuse, anti-gay persecution. It is known that violence against women and girls is common worldwide. Yet their claims are routinely disbelieved, and their credibility attacked. Is it any surprise that they be targeted for sexual abuse by guards in detention? The sexual abuse and its cover-up that was publicly exposed by The Observer (see articles below) are the inevitable products of this regime.

The public exposure of sexual abuse has come about because of the strength of a detainee who refused to be silent. There are many more ready to follow.


Enough is enough. Abuse in Yarl's Wood is not merely the result of a few bad guards; it is the result of a system and is the Government's responsibility. 
WE DEMAND: A full Public Inquiry into the sexual and other abuses at Yarls Wood Detention Centre
WE DEMAND: Present & Former detainees must have the choice to give evidence in public, and their supporters
WE DEMAND: Every aspect of the system that makes the sexual abuse possible must be exposed to public scrutiny.  Nothing less is acceptable

"Like a boil that can never be cured as long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its pus-flowing ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must likewise be exposed, with all of the tension its exposing creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured."

Martin Luther King Jr



Movement for Justice statement on the Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry


Movement for Justice statement on the Yarls Wood uprising last October


More evidence comes out about sexual abuse at Yarls Wood (Guardian Article)


Links to Observer articles:


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