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Posted on Sunday 14th March 2010

Conference highlight

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Apart from my emergency motion, which was passed unanimously,this speech was one of my highlights of conference.

Here is the text of my Emergency Motion on the Yarlswood hunger strike, which is still continuing.

This conference notes the on going hunger strike at Yarlswood Detention Centre and the demands of the hunger strikers, including

*Access to appropriate medical treatment.
*an end the detention of children and their mothers, rape survivors and other torture victims,
*an end to the detention of physically, mentally sick people and pregnant women.
*an end to the separation of children from their mothers.

This conference is appalled at the way the hunger strikers have been treated, being locked outside without outdoor clothing, and in corridors without toilet facilities. Some women have been beaten by the guards.

This conference calls on for the immediate release of the Yarlswood 4 (Aminata Camara from Guinea, Sheree Wilson from Jamaica, Shellyann Stupart from Jamaica, Gladys Obiyan from Nigeria), who have been put in prison even though no charges have been made against them.

This Conference resolves to send a message of support to WomenBehindTheWire@ncadc.org.uk and a copy of this motion to the Rt Hon Phil Woolas Minister of State for Borders and Immigration.

Here is a little more background to this if you haven’t seen it in the press.

Aminata, Sheree, Shellyann, and Gladys, were resident in Yarl’s Wood IRC on Monday 8th Feb, when an absolute and unwarranted response to a peaceful hunger strike by Serco staff, led to eight hours of chaos. Many of the detainees were injured, Aminata, Sheree, Shellyann, and Gladys, were removed from association and transferred to Bedford police station, where they remained overnight. They were then transferred to Colnbrook STHC, where they were this morning.

Gladys Obiyan, alleges that in the police station on Tuesday morning, when they were about to be moved, the police roughed her up.

At 01:15 this morning they were told they were being moved to prison, HMP Holloway and HMP Bronzefield, when they asked why they could not be returned to the detention estate, they were told there were no bed spaces available, this is blatantly untrue. women in Yarl’s Wood this morning confirmed there were plenty of empty bed spaces.

All the women are deeply disturbed at the prospect of being put in prison.

None of the women have been charged with any offences or were in any way involved in any actions at Yarl’s Wood that were other than peaceful.

UK citizens cannot be remanded to prison, except they have been brought before a judge and the judge orders it so.

Aminata, Sheree, Shellyann, and Gladys, have not and will not be brought before a judge, they are being remanded to prison on the whim of Phil Woolas MP
Minister of State for Borders and Immigration.

What You Can do to Help:
The detained women are asking you to Email/fax/phone/write Phil Woolas MP, requesting that Aminata, Sheree, Shellyann, and Gladys, are returned to Yarl’s Wood immediately or released into the community. Download model letter , which you can copy/amend/write your own version, there are no Home Office reference numbers available as the women were moved from Yarl’s Wood, with out their belongings.

Rt. Hon Phil Woolas MP
Minister of State Borders and Immigration
3rd Floor, Peel Buildings, 2 Marsham St
London SW1 4DF
Telephone: 020 7035 0195
Fax: 0870 336 9034
Email: Privateoffice.external@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
Emails: UKBApublicenquiries@UKBA.gsi.gov.uk
CITTO@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Please let the campaign know of faxes/emails sent:
WomenBehindTheWire@ncadc.org.uk

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