This is a statement from a friend Richie, currently detained in Morton Hall. This was written shortly after Richie witnessed 2 assaults by the guards on detainees, 3 days ago.
I am writing this letter about the trauma being inflicted on ‘inmates’ at this so called detention centre.
My friend is now in the CSU aka the block (isolation unit) simply because he dare express an opinion about what he witnessed. An incident in which he perceived that officers had used excessive force on another detainee. In another incident, an officer replied “I don’t care” after being questioned about what was going on with a detainee who had died in an apparent suicide.
Most residents believe that the centre is guilty of this detainee’s death. If there is any justice, then they should, at least, be facing charges of culpable homicide. It was very clear that this detainee was suffering from some kind of mental health issues and he should never have been in the centre in the first place. Also the doors are locked between the 20:30hrs to 08:00hrs in the unit where this suicide occurred. Officers only check on detainees twice during the night at 23:00hrs and 06:00hrs.
In another suicide attempt, the detainee was saved by another detainee. as his unit is the side of the centre where doors are not locked therefore other detainees can look out for those detainees who are vulnerable. We would be talking, yet again, about another detainees death if not for the timely intervention by a fellow resident who managed to be going past his door and saw him hanging, have dead and raised the alarm. With the kind of Judges at these First tier tribunals, I am not surprised that some people think the only way out of this place is suicide. The first tier tribunal(Immigration & Asylum chamber) is not fit for purpose.
I do not believe that a person should be forcefully removed and placed in isolation for having an opinion. I believe he was injured in the process and yet he has not received proper medical care. The man was denied fresh clothes and shower on his first day in isolation. he has not eaten for the past couple of days due to a lack of trust and his belief that these officers are so vindictive they might probably spit in his food before giving it to him. Or even worse.
There is no accountability and that only fuels these officers’ belief that they can do anything and get away with it. All our complaints seems to fall on deaf ears.