A Public Inquiry into the dehumanising abuse of people detained at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre begins on 23rd November.

The Inquiry, set up to investigate the mistreatment and abuse of detained people by G4S in Brook House, will begin public hearings at 10am on 23rd November within the International Dispute Resolution Centre, 1 Paternoster Lane, London, EC4M 7BQ. The hearings will also be livestreamed on the Inquiry’s YouTube channel. GDWG welcomes the Inquiry. GDWG Director, Anna Pincus, said: ‘For over 25 years, GDWG visitors have been bearing witness to the hidden suffering of people held in indefinite immigration detention. The Inquiry sets out to hear the voices of those who have been detained and we welcome this intention. Only when their voices are truly heard and acted upon will change prevent a future with yet more people broken by the inhumanity of detention.’

The Brook House Inquiry is the first public inquiry into immigration detention in the UK. Public hearings will take place between November 2021 and March 2022 and will hear from formerly detained people about their experience of abuse and degrading and dehumanising treatment at Brook House. Chaired by Kate Eves, the Inquiry will seek to establish what happened to detained people at Brook House between 1 April and 31 August 2017 and why it occurred.  The Inquiry will identify lessons to be learned and will make recommendations to prevent future abuse in detention. The Inquiry will also hear from Callum Tulley who secretly filmed the mistreatment for a BBC Panorama programme “Under-Cover: Britain’s Immigration Secrets”, aired on 4 September 2017. One formerly detained person who was previously supported by GDWG and who wishes to remain anonymous said: “Detention makes people stressed in 2017 and now. Nothing has changed. Nothing has really changed. It’s still the same things that are happening. It’s still the same regime. Detention is still indefinite. People still don’t know when they’ll be released. Detention is always the same to be honest, it will always be the same when people are detained.”

Deighton Pierce Glynn acts for GDWG as Core Participants. Joanna Thomson, partner at Deighton Pierce Glynn, said: “The victims at Brook House suffered dreadful inhuman and degrading treatment. It took secret filming by Panorama to expose what went on. But the programme was just a snapshot. The problems at Brook House are long standing, and deep and may persist. If immigration detention has to happen at all, it must only be with proper, robust safeguards, and must only be for the shortest possible time. This Inquiry will see, for the first time and in detail, what happens otherwise. This Inquiry must take its unique opportunity to do something about that.”

Read more information and access the hearings on the Brook House Inquiry website.