NGOs and the politicians stand together for detention reform

13 parliamentarians and representatives of over 40 NGOs concerned about the state of immigration detention gathered together in the Parliament on 8th Nov 2010. 

Henry Smith MP, Lord Ramsbotham and Lisa Nandy MP, as well as NGO representatives shared their concerns about those who are held in immigration removal centres across the country.  Dr Julian Huppert MP, who chaired the meeting, also took many questions from the floor and encouraged all the parliamentarians in the room to speak up. 

Mr Shirazi Morteza, who was himself held in many detention centres over four years, requested the government to reform this ‘undemocratic and unjustifiable’ practice by finding alternatives.  Lisa Nandy MP urged NGOs and campaigners to create a collective buzz around this issue that so that it cannot be ignored by the politicians. 

One of the attendees, Mr Said Harrak, said that he found the parliamentary meeting useful.  He was himself detained in several immigration removal centres but has now been given secure immigration status in the UK.  He said “The attendance was very high, and we had about 13 politicians which indicated to us that at least they are starting to take notice of what we are saying about detention.  We have to keep at them before they lose interest.”

The event was organised by the Detention Forum with support from 26 NGOs. 

The full report is available here

Last updated on 28th Feb 2011.