The STUC General Council will move an emergency motion on Tuesday 21 April that condemns the Home Office’s recent decision to deny a request from the STUC, the Church of Scotland, the Catholic Church, the Muslim Council of Britain and the Scottish Refugee Council to visit the Dungavel removal centre. The request for the visit came after reports that protests were taking place inside the centre and that as many as 60 detainees could be refusing food. The purpose of the visit was to ascertain the true situation within the centre and to hear the voices of detainees who are often being held far from family and friends and for an indefinite period.
Whilst the visit was welcomed by the centre manager, the Home Office denied the request, citing their own assurances that nothing was happening within the walls as a reason to deny civic Scotland entry.
Speaking in support of the motion, the STUC General Council will say: “Detention is a blight on our asylum system. The people being held indefinitely in Dungavel have committed no crime. They have caused no harm in our country and seek nothing but the opportunity to live in safety and with dignity. “How can we stand back and allow our Government to treat vulnerable people in this way. They say it is OK because there is an inspection regime around it, but that inspection regime does not ask what effect indefinite detention has on the person who is detained. It does not really see a person at all, only a set of criteria, decided by the Home Office, that needs to be ticked off. “ The General Council’s motion will call for a mass demonstration outside the centre to show the trade union movement’s continuing concern for the people who are held there and its continuing objection to detention. The motion also calls on the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Scottish Human Rights Commission to work together to inspect Dungavel from a human rights perspective in order to determine the human cost of detention.
For further information Helen Martin 07583 030741