Home Office rejects request from trade unions and religious groups to visit migrants in Dungavel


Emergency motion at Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) conference calls for mass demonstration at the facility on 30 May

THE HOME OFFICE has rejected a request from political and religious leaders in Scotland to visit detainees in Dungavel detention centre.

As first reported on CommonSpace, the STUC and religious leaders demanded access to the facility after reports of detainees on hunger strike inside (click here to read more).

There are hundreds of migrants detained at Dungavel, many of whom have been there for months and some for over a year.

The STUC, the church of Scotland, the Catholic church, the Muslim council of Britain and the Scottish refugee council wrote to the Home Office and the governor of Dungavel to request access.

However, it has since emerged that despite the agreement of the governor, the Home Office rejected the call.

An emergency motion at the STUC conference in Ayr read: “Whilst the visit was welcomed by the centre manager, the home office denied the request, citing their own assurances that nothing was happening within the walls as a reason to deny civic Scotland entry.”

The motion, which was moved by Mary Senior the STUC General Council, calls for a mass demonstration outside the facility on the 30 May.

The spotlight on those in detention in the UK has increased after reports of a hunger strike in facilities across the country (click here to read more).

The UK is the only country in the EU which detains migrants indefinitely. A recent report by Westminster’s committee recommended a 28-day limit to and for “community-based resolutions” to be favoured over detention.

On Monday, there were reports of detainees refusing food at Yarl’s Wood detention centre in England after the death of 33-year-old Indian Pinakin Patel.

Picture by CommonSpace