Meltem Avcil, who as a child experienced the terror of being detained in Yarl’s Wood, is petitioning Theresa may to end the detention of women who are seeking asylum and to close Yarl’s Wood.
In Meltem’s words…
“Right now, there are hundreds of women locked up in Yarl’s Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire. These women have not committed any crime. They have come to this country to seek asylum, to find refuge from persecution.
“I know what it’s like in Yarl’s Wood detention centre because I was locked up there in 2007 for 3 months when I was just 13 years old, with my mother. I joined the campaign against detaining children for immigration purposes and we won that campaign in 2010 when the government announced that it wouldn’t detain children any more in Yarl’s Wood.
“However, I saw what my mother went through when she was in detention and I worry that many women like her are still being locked up. If a woman has already experienced rape, torture, imprisonment in her home country then it is really hard for her to be locked up here. Women become depressed and suicidal in detention.
“I am supported in this petition by organisations including Women for Refugee Women. Please go to www.refugeewomen.co.uk for more information about the detention of women, and please join us in asking for protection for vulnerable women by signing the petition to Theresa May. “
You can sign the petition here.
To find out about conditions at Yarl’s Wood, and about how women are treated there, go to Channel 4’s recent undercover investigation