£15,000 for 8 months at yarl’s wood

A Cameroonian woman has been awarded £15,000 in compensation for unlawful detention for 8 months at Yarl’s Wood detention center. The woman arrived in Britain and claimed asylum on the basis of being raped and tortured by the police in Cameroon. She was denied the correct procedure for torture victims and eventually refused asylum. It was only at the point of deportation that she was able to access any support, in this case by Women Against Rape* who work work with many women detainees who have lost their asylum claims.

“[The] ruling is a fantastic victory and sets a crucial precedent for many other women in detention,” said a WAR spokeswoman yesterday. “Like PB, many women have had their cases fast-tracked and been detained, denied legal representation, medical and other expert help, and implementation of the Home Office’s own rules which should have secured their release.

“Instead, women, and often their children, suffer months imprisoned in terrible circumstances and many are sent back to the countries they fled, often never having had the help they needed to report rape, or to gather evidence needed to challenge the routine dismissal of rape as grounds for asylum.”

Only last week I met a former detainee who spoke about her imprisonment at Yarl’s Wood. She spoke about women with children who were sexually harassed and abused, verbally abused and beaten and imprisoned in horrendous conditions. For more on Yarl’s Wood see here and here and here.

*Women Against Rape and Black Women Against Rape were two of the organisations marching with the ECP at last weeks IWD rally whose members have been ridiculed, dismissed and subject to lies and name calling in the Guardian’s CiF and on various blogs in Britain and elsewhere.