Scotland`s first detention centre will `threaten` rights of asylum seekers

Scotland’s first detention centre for asylum seekers will
increase the number detained and threaten their rights, according
to the Scottish Refugee Council, writes Reg

Dungavel, a former prison in the isolated countryside of
Lanarkshire, was earmarked as the country’s first detention
centre for asylum seekers, and is due to open in the next month. At
present asylum seekers are detained in mainstream prisons mainly
Gateside in Greenock and the woman’s prison, Cornton Vale in

Sofia Marriage, spokesperson for the Scottish Refugee council,
said: “We oppose the arbitrary detention of asylum seekers in what
legally is only meant to occur in exceptional circumstances.
Dungavel will result in an increase in those so detained.” The
number of asylum seekers detained in Scotland has tripled to 60
over the past few years. Dungavel is to accommodate 150 men, women
and children.

Marriage said: “We are concerned that Dungavel is geographically
isolated, and will exacerbate difficulties in asylum seekers
accessing lawyers to fight for their case. Many arrive with serious
medical conditions requiring urgent treatment – how will this
be provided? Worse, many will have escaped prisons abroad only to
be dumped again into detention.”

The Scottish Refugee Council has not been involved in any
planning or consultations in how asylum seekers detained at
Dungavel will be supported.



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