BBC documentary tonight (Wednesday 2nd March) will reveal the true extent of
racism in the way that asylum seekers are treated whilst under detention in this
country. The film has led to the suspension of 15 guards from the inevitably
private company that the government pays to carry out this work..
BBC1’s ‘Detention undercover – the real story’ shows guards
discussing how best to assault asylum seekers, discussing serious sexual
assaults and endemic racism. One guard at Oakington, Jason Martin, tells a man
he has just assaulted “My great grand father shot your great grand father and
nicked his fucking country off you for 200 years. I’m not to be fucked about
Whilst the employers of these men and the government will
attempt to write off these acts as rogue individuals who do not represent the
service as a whole the real issue is that the entire process of how we treat
asylum seekers is flawed and needs to be radically overhauled. We should be
welcoming and helpful to these vulnerable people rather than treat them like
The way we treat those seeking asylum in this country is
inhuman. It’s bad enough that these extremely vulnerable people are pushed
through a cruel and complex legal procedure that few are familiar with – but to
be subjected to violent racist abuse, detention and the regular scapegoating in
certain sections of the press is horrific.
This government should be ashamed of the way it treats those
coming to our shores. We should scrap the existing asylum legislation and end
the racist immigration controls. It does not matter which bit of the map someone
comes from, we are all human beings and should be treated with equal rights.
Whilst the Tories steer dangerously close to playing the race
card on this issue, New Labour has been little better seeming to bow to every
ill informed bigoted prejudice they can find instead of responding with the real
facts. Each and every one of these detention centres should be shut down and
asylum seekers treated with dignity and respect.
Link to story in the Independent
and the BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/real_story/4310361.stm (this link
includes footage from tonight’s program)