Hey, it’s THEIR fault for not being born in the right country!

September 3, 2008

Or so says the UK government, basically, with regard to children in detention centres.

Channel 4 ran a story tonight about the mistreatment of children in detention centres, focusing in particular on children being denied medication while in detention.  The Children’s Commissioner Sir Al Aynsley-Green described the conditions as “inhuman” and gave several examples to corroborate this view.  One story of mistreatment can be found at Nursing Matters detailing how a baby was denied the special formula she needed and basically left to starve overnight.

However, when asked for her opinion, Lin Homer, chief of the UK Border Agency rejected the criticisms out of hand.   Keith Vaz, Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee then gave an interview to Channel 4 arguing that, while there might be some mistreatment in Yarl’s Wood and other detention centres, it was all because asylum-seekers weren’t being deported fast enough!!  He claimed that he had spoken to some inmates at a detention centre near Heathrow that wanted to be returned to their countries of origin!!!

This is clearly complete bullshit.  No one wants to be returned to persecution, possible torture and possible death.  I’ve never met a single asylum seeker who was hoping to go back.  If there were any people who said as much to Mr Vaz, it’s more an indication of the appalling mental torture asylum seekers endure, knowing that their freedom and possibly their lives depend upon the whims of an increasingly xenophobic and inhumane state.  But what really upset  me was the suggestion that the solution to the mistreatment of asylum seekers is NOT the abolition of detention centres – as, last time I checked, detaining people who were innocent of any crime was generally considered a no-no in a democracy.  No, according to Keith, the solution is to send people to their deaths at a quicker rate.

Hey, if they were smart, they would have been born in a safe, wealthy country.  I just don’t understand why people refuse to choose their parents more wisely.

You can write to Mr Vaz here:

Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP
House of Commons


And to Ms Homer (asking her in what universe denying children  medication is OK) here:

Lin Homer
12th floor, Apollo House
36 Wellesley Road

2 Responses to “Hey, it’s THEIR fault for not being born in the right country!”

  1. […] takes the view, shared by Keith Vaz, that really, any suffering that children in detention centres endure is the fault of their […]

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