News emerged last night of another death in detention, bringing the total number of deaths this year to ten. Media are reporting that a 27-year old Iraqi died on Sunday morning the 19th of November, having taken his own life.
JRS UK Director Sarah Teather responded to the news saying:
“We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear of yet another death in Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre. Our thoughts and prayers are with the young man’s family and friends and with all those in detention who will be deeply distressed by this news.
“The rise in the number of deaths related to immigration detention is testament to the untold suffering caused by indefinite detention. The UK makes heavy use of detention and is the only country in Europe that does not set a limit on the time a person can be held. The uncertainty this causes is deeply corrosive on mental and physical health, often compounding existing vulnerabilities.
“While some people are held in detention only for short periods of time, others can be detained for years before being released back into the community. The introduction of a 28-day time limit and the implementation of community-based alternatives to detention are now more urgent than ever.”
JRS UK has a longstanding ministry of outreach to immigration detention, with volunteers and staff providing pastoral and practical support to those in the Heathrow Immigration Removal Centres, Colnbrook and Harmondsworth. To find out more about how you can support those in immigration detention, either by raising awareness of the situation or by volunteering to visit someone through the JRS volunteer scheme, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org