Today, 35 people gathered outside Trinity Police Station to protest against the detention of 8 people by United Kingdom Border Agency. They held a banner saying “Eight Detentions is Eight Too Many” and passing cards beeped their horns in support.
One asylum seeker from Buruni was
detained at 11am by officers carrying guns and was visibly shaking and
terrified during the forced detention. She is currently being held
despite her having an active legal case which means she is not able to
“Home Office policy is that no one
should be detained unless they are going to be deported, yet today they
have detained at least two people with no legal reason. This mass detention creates fear among asylum seekers that they also could be put in a
detention centre and deported at any moment. This is a form of psychological torture, this is wrong and should not happen.” said Claire Hall from Bristol Anti-deportation Network.
Another asylum seeker from
Afghanistan was detained at 11am and was later released after it became
clear that there was no legal ground for his detention.
“I really feeling sad when I heard
what happened. Bristol is a City of Sanctuary but it is not safe for
asylum seekers. We are feeling unsafe, nervous and stressed when we go
to sign at the police station. And if they scrap human rights for asylum
seekers today, tomorrow they will do for another kind of person living
in Bristol.”said Esam Amin
People sang “We who believe in Freedom can not rest” and chanted “Stop Stop Deportations, Our Detention and Destitution”and
passerbyers stopped to read messages, to ask questions and make
donations towards legal costs for those detained. Letters of support and
food were also passed to those detained.
“I am here to support these people
in detention. People are living here a long time and it is very unfair
for them to be deported. Everyone has serious reason to come here, they
are not tourists. Home Office must give asylum seekers leave to remain.
If they don't, they destroy lives of many people” said Nassour Hussain, a refugee from Sudan.
This protest builds on the success
of the Dignity for Asylum Seekers demonstration in June which saw 250
people march for an end to destitution, detention and deportation and on
protests in College Green in support of Ibrahim who has been sleeping
there for over three weeks in protest of the forced destitution of