Asylum seekers stage hunger strike

Ugandan women at three asylum detention centres have begun
hunger strikes, demanding the government review its assessment of
conditions in the war-torn country, a charity has claimed,
writes Helen McCormack.

Legal Action for Women (LAW) said at least nine women had begun
staging a hunger strike at Yarlswood Detention Centre, and that one
woman was seriously ill, having refused food for eight days.

Niki Adams, spokesperson for LAW, said they understood Ugandan
women had also started striking at centres in Dover and

Many involved in the protest at Yarlswood had been raped in
their home countries and feared further attacks and persecution if
they were returned, Adams said, adding: “The situation of the
women is desperate. Many are facing imminent deportation and have
been denied the opportunity to have their cases properly

The women are also protesting over conditions at the centre, and
allege they have been subjected to racist abuse and ill-treatment
by staff.

A Home Office spokesperson said the number of women on strike
had not yet been clarified, but denied any of the Ugandan nationals
being held at Dover were on strike and said no Ugandans were being
held at Oakington detention centre.

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