The independent London newspaper

Why we must end indefinite detention

20 July, 2018

• ISLINGTON has a proud record of helping vulnerable migrants and refugees.

From welcoming 14 Syrian refugee families to urging the home secretary to address the appalling conditions at Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre, we have always fought for what is right and against injustice.

I am pleased that this month Islington became the first London council to move a motion in support of the campaign to end indefinite detention.

Each year, around 30,000 people are detained in the UK. We are the only country in Europe with no time limit on detention.

People who are detained are vulnerable, often fleeing conflict or persecution, and are at risk of mental and physical abuse from detention staff.

No one should be forced to wait in limbo for so long, often without legal representation or protection from abuse. Detention in the UK needs urgent reform.

Along with the government’s treatment of the Windrush generation and refusal to immediately guarantee EU citizens’ rights after Brexit, it shows the human cost of its “hostile environment”.

I am pleased that this Labour-led council has lent its support to These Walls Must Fall’s campaign to end indefinite detention, and hope other London councils follow our example.

As a refugee myself, I know just how welcoming and supportive Islington is. I am proud to call this wonderful borough my home.

Labour, Hillrise ward


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