In response to the Chief Inspector of Prisons report on Harmondsworth detention centre, Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“The Chief Inspector’s report into Harmondsworth makes for chilling reading. Whilst recognising there have been improvements, these pale into insignificance when it is stated that evidence of torture is not taken into account in interviews and healthcare is ‘unacceptably poor’.
“Here at the Refugee Council we are tired of reading these reports, which have consistently criticised the standard of care for immigration detainees since the detention estate was created. Improvements here and there are not enough, it is unacceptable that we lock people up simply for administrative reasons, often for indefinite periods. This is an outrage. When victims of torture are locked up, and their mental and physical health needs are not met, it is the sign of a system that has totally lost its way.
“There are alternatives, and the new government has the opportunity to take a fresh look at how we treat people who come to our country and ask for our help. Let’s do it now.”