A video recently released by The Sunday Mirror shows disturbing scenes at Manston detention camp where detainees are being held in squalid conditions with detainees sleeping on mats on the floor. The footage was taken on the day of Home Secretary, Suella Braverman’s, visit to Manston. An insider told the Mirror, ‘These conditions seem more like a third-world country than something you’d expect to see in Britain. It’s appalling’.
Manston is designed to contain 1,600 detainees but it is reported that up to 3,500 detainees have been held there at one time. While Manston is supposed to act as a processing centre with migrants being there for no more than 24 hours, many are being held there for weeks.
It has been suggested that overpopulation of the migrant centre has worsened after Braverman blocked the transfer of migrants due to the soaring cost of housing them elsewhere.
Charity Medical Justice have raised concerns about inadequate mental health screening as well as segregation and force being used against vulnerable migrants, leading them to call for all migrant centres in the UK to be closed.
A recent protest, organized by Action Against Detention and Deportation (AADD), has also demanded for Manston to be closed. The group said ‘They have been forced to sleep on the floor, stripped of their phones and other belongings, and denied access to the necessary legal and medical support. This is barbaric, and must be stopped’. Demonstrators threw paper airplanes over the fence at Manston containing information about asylum rights along with solicitor details and other crucial information.
In a recent alarming account from a ‘security manager’ at Manston in The Times it was said that, ‘Arrivals are all known by a number rather than by name, which is the boat number they were on when they disembarked. They wear this number on a band around their wrist’. Calls for the closure of the detention camp continue.