Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Grahame Smith said:
“Today’s Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) report vindicates the concerns that the STUC and civil society organisations have voiced with respect to the operation of the asylum system in Scotland and the welfare of detainees in Dungavel.
“Whilst we welcome the report’s findings in relation to the professionalism of the staff at Dungavel, it is clear that the centre is simply not an appropriate place to detain people for the length of time that many are forced to endure incarceration.
“It is simply unacceptable that one person was detained for two and a half years and many more detained for over six months with little that staff can do to mitigate the mental anguish and damage to health that ensues.
“We are equally concerned at the treatment by the system of particularly vulnerable detainees, including a rape victim and a victim of torture, and the apparent failures of the Rule 35 reports. We also demand the immediate end of night-time removals to and from the centre.
“Our concern has always been that the individual experiences of the innocent people held at Dungavel could not be separated from the wider operation of the asylum system. The UK remains the only country in Europe which permits indefinite detention and it is simply impossible for any centre, supposedly designed for removal to adequately mitigate such a barbaric system.
“We reiterate our call for the closure of Dungavel and for community based solutions to be used to oversee the effective, humane operation of refugee and asylum policy in Scotland and the UK”.
For further information contact Dave Moxham 0141 337 8100