The independent London newspaper

We should press for a 28-day limit on detention for immigration cases

07 September, 2017

• I WAS profoundly shocked by the BBC Panorama programme about conditions at the Gatwick Immigration Removal Centre, only 30 miles from Camden Town.

I have read that the allegations of violent staff misconduct are being investigated, which is good, but they indicate a larger problem than just the examples at Gatwick. I have heard similar reports from refugee organisations.

I hope scrutiny will extend to all such centres and the government policies that set the operating framework for them. Detention may well be a necessary measure in some cases, but it is unjustifiable for indefinite and often lengthy periods.

The UK is the only country in Europe to detain people without a time limit. I believe political leaders should immediately introduce a 28-day limit on detention, as a step towards a system which respects the fundamental human rights of every person, including visitors to the UK.

If we must imprison people, we must rectify the problems that cause delays leading to detention for lengthy periods.

ALAN ASAY, Gospel Oak


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