On Monday 20 April 33 year old man died of a heart attack in Yarls Wood immigration detention centre.
The man, who has not been named, was being held with his wife and child at the centre. He was thought to have been healthy and not on any medication.
It is believed that the family came to the UK on visitor’s visas from their home in India but were detained at the airport. They have been held in Yarls Wood for two months. One detainee told the Guardian that the family “wanted to see the UK” and that “the couple have children back in India”.
There have been 14 deaths in immigration removal centres in the past 10 years. Medical Justice, a charity which campaigns for improvements in healthcare in detention and sends volunteer doctors to Yarls Wood, say the centre has inadequate health care facilities. It is unclear if this was a problem in this case.
In March this year a Channel 4 undercover investigation found poor standards of healthcare, widespread self-harm amongst detainees and abuse by staff.
Staff were filmed referring to the mainly female detainees as “animals” “beasties” and “bitches”. Several were recorded threatening violence. Channel 4 also told the story of a woman who miscarried while being detained at Yarls Wood. Pregnant women are only meant to be detained if their removal from the country is imminent, yet many pregnant women are detained for long periods at Yarls Wood.
People, including children, are being detained for long periods in appalling conditions, having committed no crime. End detentions!