Dungavel protest calls for its closure

The Scottish Trades Union Congress led a demonstration to call for
the closure of Dungavel immigration removal centre in Strathaven,
Lanarkshire, last week.

The protesters were calling for an end to the enforced detention of
asylum seekers and their families and for children to be able to
attend mainstream schools.

Meanwhile, Rosie Kane, a Scottish Socialist Party member in the
assembly, has taken an asylum seeker and her daughter into her own
home. Mercy Ikolo and her 14-month-old daughter Percile-Liz were
granted bail from Dungavel this week, where they had been held for
three weeks.

Kane’s decision came after a human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar said
the centre symbolises “a barbaric system of holding parents with
their children behind barbed wire”.

Speaking at a meeting organised by the charity Positive Action in
Housing, Anwar said “the regime refuses mothers the right to feed
children as and when they want and refuses the children the right
to play in freedom”.

Immigration minister Beverley Hughes said several allegations
against Dungavel were “completely untrue”, insisting “mothers are
free to feed their children whenever they need to”.

Another protest demonstration is planned later this month as Yarl’s
Wood detention centre is set to re-open following a fire last year.

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