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BBC reveals violent racism behind refugee ‘solutions’

Jim Jepps


 Jason Martin racially abusing one of his chargesA 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 with.”

 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 criminals.

 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 (this link includes footage from tonight’s program)


March 2005


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