GDWG stand in solidarity with all fighting for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubery and all who have lost their lives to police brutality.
Here in the UK, 37 people have lost their lives in immigration detention and a further 14 have died in prison under immigration powers, according to Inquest. See this report from Medical Justice in 2016 that found there is a lack of transparency and accountability around death in detention as there is no central or coordinated oversight and monitoring of deaths.
In 1993 Joy Gardner was killed after a violent deportation attempt. Five police officers raided her home to ‘detain and remove’ Joy and her 5 year
old son. Three of the police officers were tried on manslaughter charges in 1995 and they were all acquitted.
No one was charged for the death of Jimmy Mubenga, a man who died in 2010 after telling guards he couldn’t breathe when being restrained on a flight during an enforced removal.
Just last year Oscar Okwurime died whilst detained at Harmondsworth IRC, we are still awaiting the outcome of the investigation into his death.
In 2017 BBC Panorama uncovered abuse at Brook House IRC, showing video footage of staff physically and verbally abusing people in detention. The Crown Prosecution Service considered an investigation carried out by Sussex police, and decided not to charge the abusive staff members.
There is now an ongoing public inquiry into the abuse only after much legal pressure from the victims and their legal teams.
These incidents here, in the US and across the world are not isolated. They are a manifestation of systemic racism and state brutality. We must continue to fight against these systems that oppress people of colour the world over. We cannot and will not be silent.