130 people in a tent: Complaints of ill-treatment of immigrants in the United Kingdom


A resident told the smoothies news that conditions in a crowded migrant center in Kent, southeast England (UK), are like living in a prison or a zoo.

Ahmed (not his real name) said people at the Manston treatment center are treated like “animals”, with 130 of them forced to share a large tent.

More than 4,000 migrants have been detained in the camp – which was supposed to hold 1,600 – in recent days.

The Home Office says it provides “all the basic needs” of immigrants.

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick has previously insisted that the number of people in Manston is declining.

Ahmed, who left the center on Monday after being there for 24 days, described being forced to sleep on the floor and prevented from going to the bathroom, showering, or going out to exercise.

He told the smoothies news that he fled his native Iran to seek freedom and avoid persecution, claiming he feared for his life.

But after arriving in the UK and at the center, Ahmed said people were prevented from calling their families to let them know they had safely crossed into the UK.

“In the 24 days I was there, I couldn’t call my family to say if I was alive or dead, they didn’t know anything about me,” he says.

“All the people inside have a family. (The authorities) should know what is happening to us.”

Manston, a former military base in Kent, became a processing center in February for the growing number of migrants arriving in the UK on small boats. Immigrants must remain there for short periods while they undergo security and identity checks.

They must then be transferred to the Home Office’s asylum residence system. In practice, they end up staying in hotels, due to the lack of available accommodation.

But Manston was even busier over the weekend when 700 migrants were sent there from another hub in Dover, which was the target of a bomb attack on Sunday.

Several hundred asylum seekers were relocated from the center of Manston on Tuesday, according to a Kent MP, Conservative Roger Gill.

He said more would appear throughout the week on his personal Twitter account: “This must never happen again.”

Jenrick tweeted Tuesday that the number of immigrants detained at the center had “drastically decreased.”

“Unless we receive an unexpectedly large number of migrants in small boats in the next few days, the numbers will drop dramatically this week,” he wrote. “It is imperative that the site returns to a sustainable operating model and we are doing everything we can to ensure this happens quickly.”

But the British Red Cross said, “the serious problems in Manston are indicative of the broader problems facing the asylum system.”

A large number of immigrants have arrived in the UK this year. So far this year, almost 40,000 people have arrived in Kent: almost a thousand people crossed the channel on Saturday alone.

Separately, the smoothies news has received footage of unaccompanied children being forced to sleep on the floor at another unidentified Home Office facility in Kent. The pictures show a sparsely decorated room with some books and a board game for entertainment to help pass the time on the premises.

You can see scribbles in different languages on the walls and a row of plastic chairs nailed to the floor. The facility is used to house unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “Manston continues to have the resources and equipment to safely accommodate migrants. We will provide alternative accommodation as soon as possible.”

“The number of people arriving in the UK on small boats is at record levels, putting incredible pressure on our asylum system and costing UK taxpayers millions of pounds a day.”

“We are attending to all the basic needs of people who arrive tired, cold, with wet clothes, and who may not have eaten during their trip. The Home Office (Home Office) provides sanitary facilities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in Manston, in addition to having plans to address health problems such as communicable diseases.

The government is under enormous pressure to tackle the increase in small boat crossings and speed up the processing of migrants already in the UK.

Opposition parties have accused Home Secretary Soella Braverman of ignoring legal advice to obtain additional hotel accommodation to avoid overcrowding downtown.

Braverman denied the allegations.

The Home Secretary was also accused of using inflammatory language after he said the south of England faced an “invasion” of immigrants during a heated session of the House of Commons (a tie for Brazil’s lower house).

The Refugee Council called the language used by Braverman “appalling, incorrect, and dangerous”. Immigration Minister Jenrick later said that politicians should be careful about their language on immigration issues.

The prime minister’s official spokesman Rishi Sunak said he had told his cabinet at a meeting on Tuesday that Britain would “always be a kind and hospitable country.”

Meanwhile, anti-terror police took over the investigation into a bomb attack at the Immigration Processing Center in Dover, Kent, last Sunday (10/30).

Detectives said Andrew Lake, 66, of High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, likely carried out the attack in “a form of hateful pique” before taking his own life.


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