URGENT: End the detention of Syed.
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My friend Syed is currently being detained at Harmondsworth Immigration Centre. His home is here in the UK - this is where his close network of family and friends are, and where he feels safe and free from fear and persecution. Syed is a kind hearted and warm man who has been living in the UK for years with his family prior to being forced into detention.
Syed was first detained at Brook House – the centre where earlier this year, BBC Panorama released a documentary recorded by a former staff member, which documented the abuses and injustices that were taking place inside – previously unreported to the outside world. Detainees were told to ‘F***k off back to your own country’ by staff members, and officers were recorded laughing and jeering whilst a detainee cut himself in front of them.
Syed has been moved multiple times, but is currently being held at Harmondsworth Immigration Centre – a dirty, overcrowded and underfunded centre. He risks being forcibly removed at any moment.
At the time of writing, Syed has been detained for 11 months. Detention centres are not designed for the long term and the conditions are having an impact on both his mental and physical health.
The UK is the only country in the European Union which does not have a time limit on depriving people of their freedom; those like Syed who are not able to leave Britain are being kept in detention indefinitely. I’m sure that every person reading this can empathise; not knowing when you will be free is deeply traumatic.
Syed never complains, he's always asking about others and cares for the other people being held in detention. He often supports his friends at Harmondsworth by acting as a translator for those who speak little English and are being denied basic care.
Syed had been creating a life for himself in the UK for a long time before his detention, he has lots of friends and family and had hoped to go to college to study Business Management. Syed has no convictions or cases against him, and has caused no trouble in detention. Despite this, he has been refused asylum and continues to be held in detention.
Please sign this petition calling on the UK Home Office to release Syed from detention and to halt any attempts at deportation/removal with immediate effect.
A quote from Syed – ‘They think I am worse than an animal, is it my fault that I just want to have a life free from fear?’
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