Speak Out: Rape & Sexual Assault in Yarl’s Wood

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BWRAP and WAR spoke to one of at least thirty women who have gone on hunger strike in Yarl’s Wood to protest the removal of seven women back to Pakistan on a charter flight on Friday 5th, October. We have been in ongoing contact with them today. Some have experienced and/or witnessed sexual harassment and abuse in Yarl’s Wood. Some are victims of rape and attempted murder by family members. They have been denied legal representation and their asylum claims have been refused without the full details of the persecution they have suffered and the evidence of why they would be in danger if returned to Pakistan, being considered by the authorities.

Ms Akram says “guards use abusive language, they disrespect us continually coming in the rooms without knocking the door, and when we complain they threaten us. We are being kept locked up and some disappear and no one knows what happens to them. We have no access even to get our paper work or raise our voices”.

Their statement is below.

They Spoke Out at the Crossroads Women’s Centre (details below) and will discuss what can be done to prevent removals of women who are potential witnesses to abuse by guards in Yarl’s Wood. Corroborative accounts of which guards have done what are essential for any legal cases – to get justice for victims and to hold the attackers to account.

Examples of some of the women’s situations:

Amina Rafique. Ms Rafique is 18 years old and has been issued with removal directions on tonight’s Charter Flight PVT T20. Ms Rafique says “I cannot go back as I am not an acceptable woman in my society – my family disowned me”.

Ghazala Akram. Ms Akram “married to a person of my choice against the will of my family” and has therefore been disowned by them and would be at risk of attack.

Retributions have begun. Today women are being prevented from photocopying their papers and yesterday they were prevented from taking their papers to social visits with supporters who are helping them.

Memoona Rashid, a qualified lawyer from Pakistan also detained and threatened with removal is acting as a “jailhouse lawyer”. She says:

 This is a mass deportation. Women must have time to present our cases and gather evidence. We have not had access to lawyers because of huge waiting list which is due to mass round up of people. The legal clinic is deliberately slow – we are being denied due process and justice.

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Date: Sun, 29 Sep 2013 14:30:07 +0100

 

From: moonadvocate@yahoo.com

The day before yesterday hunger strike is going on at yarl’s wood against charter flight.,deportation, no right of appeals in fresh claims and even sexual abuse.

We should have right of appeal and right of bail. Why we are discriminated by UKBA and other institutions. We are not street dogs.

We are human beings we spend a lot of money to come for protection. We never do any illegal act or break any law but still we are facing detention and racial discrimination.

We are women and in our culture if a woman been detained for any reason it is considered that she is characterless and society has bad eyelid on that woman. If have been send back to our countries with handcuffed our society will never accept us.

And if we apply asylum it does not mean that we are criminals or asylum is a crime.

Please we need justice we need safety and we need protection. Women seeking asylum from gender violence, Honour killing, forced marriage, domestic abuse trafficking need time to prove their cases.

We have had no access to legal aid. Charter flights are illegal. It is a mass deportation. Women claiming asylum for gender based issues must have time. We have not had access to legal aid. Because of huge waiting list due to mass round up no due process.

Why we are being kept in isolated places like police stations, cells or detention centres we are not criminals Asylum is not a crime.

asking for justice is not a crime

we want independence.

we want our rights.

we want to raise our voice in public

Amina Rafique

fozia Noreen

Noreen kanwal

Shaista

Ghazala Akram

gulshanmemooonanoreen

jan mohammadhumairanoreen

akhterafreen

kanwalhumahinasoniakanwal

 

 

 

 

 


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1 Response to Speak Out: Rape & Sexual Assault in Yarl’s Wood

  1. justice seeker says:

    Most of the people from Pakistan seeking asylum are here just for an easy life, they are not in any danger what so ever and they are taking the place from a genuine asylum seeker, its not fair on them

    Some will cry out rape, domestic violence or honour killing. It’s the 21st century and even if these claims are true, pakistan has a police force that can deal with it.

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