Call for ac­tion over fate of de­tainees

In­ter-faith cam­paign­ers call for a time limit over how long UK can de­tain asy­lum seek­ers

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine

Char­ity René Cassin co-or­di­nated the gath­er­ing, on July 5, next to the largest immigration deten-tion cen­tre in Europe, as part of the Time for a time limit cam­paign. The UK is the only Euro­pean coun­try not to have a time limit on how long im­mi­grants can be de­tained.

Rabbi Lea Mühlstein, of the North­wood and Pin­ner Lib­eral Syn­a­gogue, said: “As a rabbi of a Hilling­don syn­a­gogue, I feel strongly we can­not ig­nore the in­jus­tice hap­pen­ing on our doorstep. In­def­i­nite de­ten­tion is a di­rect in­sult to Jewish mo­rals.”

Hayes and Har­ling­ton MP John McDon­nell joined the dis­cus­sion at the in­ter-faith tent on the moor. He said: “Bri­tish peo­ple would not sup­port the sys­tem if they knew what it was like.”

The pro­gramme in­cluded the first-hand tes­ti­mony of for­mer de­tainees, and in­ter-faith teach­ings and dis­cus­sions.

Michael from Freed Voices, a group of for­mer de­tainees held in the UK, said: “De­ten­tion is an af­front to the hu­man, moral val­ues, at the heart of all re­li­gious faiths. Mus­lim, Chris­tian, Jewish – what­ever you are or wher­ever you are from, de­ten­tion af­fects us all.

“It ru­ins lives and de­stroys com­mu­ni­ties.”

Those gath­ered took part in the break­ing of the fast, as the day fell within the Mus­lim fast of Ramadan and the Jewish fast of the 17th of Tam­muz.

Rev Kevin McDon­ald said: “These peo­ple, many of whom have sur­vived war, trauma and per­se­cu­tion, ex­pe­ri­ence se­vere dis­tress and loss of dig­nity while they wait for asy­lum claims to be pro­cessed.

“The peo­ple in Har­mondsworth may only be 200 me­tres away, but in terms of the rights ev­ery hu­man de­serves – they are a mil­lion miles away.”

n CALL FOR AC­TION: Peo­ple of Faith gath­ered in Har­mondsworth Moor na­ture re­serve to show sol­i­dar­ity with Har­mondsworth de­tai­ness Photo by Jon Mikol www.buya pho­totms.co.uk

WL154093

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.