Campaigners call for urgent action to prevent opening of new refugee detention centre


Final day to object to new ‘holding facility’ in Paisley

CAMPAIGNERS are urging Scots to object to the creation of a new refugee detention facility in Paisley, on the final day before plans get underway.

People who wish to object to the new facility designed to ‘fast track’ refugees out of the UK, must make their objection known to Renfrewshire council before Saturday 22 October.

The announcement of the new facility, which followed the confirmation of the closure of Dungavel detention centre in September, follows years of protest against the practice off locking up refugees in near prison like conditions for months and sometimes years.

The new centre is situated near Glasgow airport, with detainees expected to stay at the facility for around a week, before being flown out of the country and away from legal counsel, effectively terminating their asylum bids.

Leading Scottish trade unionist and anti-racism campaigner Suki Sangha told CommonSpace that the new facility was in some ways worse than Dungavel, and must be opposed.

She said: “The closing of Dungavel detention centre is a victory for campaigners both inside and outside its walls, who fought for years to end the inhumane practice of detaining people fleeing war, persecution and crisis.

An objection can be lodged with Renfrewshire council by following this link, or by emailing

“We have to demand that the stain on Scotland that was Dungavel is not replaced by another detention centre.

“The home office are now replacing it with something worse. The new facility is about removing people quickly. It’s closer to the airport, closer to the planes – meaning less of a chance of putting up a fight and getting help and solidarity from the wider community. It's cold, it’s calculated and so inhumane.”

The new facility is being opened without wider consultation into the legal, human rights, social and political consequences of the centre. Instead, it is being treated as a council planning matter for Renfrewshire council.

Therefore, the group Stop Detention in Scotland are calling on humanitarians to inundate Renfrewshire council will objections to the opening of the new complex.

An objection can be lodged with Renfrewshire council by following this link, or by emailing

The Stop Detention Scotland website includes a comprehensive list of objections that can be made to Renfrewshire council against the opening of the new facility.

Dungavel was closed following dozens of protests both by refugees and supporters in the wider community. There have been numerous revelations of mistreatment in the facility, including a finding by the prison inspectorate that one refugee had remained in detention for two and a half years.

Picture courtesy of Darren Johnson 

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