Teenage asylum seeker commits suicide while in detention - Refugee Council
June 29, 2005

Teenage asylum seeker commits suicide while in detention

The death of a young Kurdish Turk while in detention has prompted renewed concerns about detaining asylum seekers.

The Independent today reported today that Ramazan Camlica, 19, was found hanged on Monday in his room at the detention centre Campsfield House in Oxfordshire. He is thought to have been depressed by prolonged uncertainty over his future, a long-term health problem, the prospect of being forced into the Turkish army once deported and by the death of his mother.

Mr Camlica had been held in detention for at least five months and had been refused bail three times, according to the Independent. Considering that only those facing imminent deportation are supposed to be detained, his length of detention was inordinate, campaigners have said

He is the fifth asylum-seeker in the past 12 months to have taken his life while in detention.

As 20 demonstrators mounted a protest outside Campsfield House yesterday,

Campsfield House was also investigating how an Iraqi, also detained there, had managed to swallow a needle in another apparent attempt suicide. He was treated in hospital and has survived.

The both cases highlighted the effects detention can have on often vulnerable people and echoed the concerns raised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who said following visits to a number of detention centres: “”I think there is a lot in the working of it which is deeply unsatisfactory at the moment, which feels inhuman to the people involved.”

The prisons inspectorate report in November had raised concerns about Campsfield House and called for better care plans for those considered suicidal and better systems to monitor those in segregation and isolation units.

Other information:

Read the Refugee Council’s Special Report on Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers facing deportation.