QARN signed in support of Freed Voices letter

24 April 2020 to Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, Home Secretary

Dear Home Secretary,

We, Freed Voices, are writing to express our concern regarding the serious risks posed by Covid-19 to those who continue to be held in Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) across the UK.

The risk to life in IRCs has been made clear by independent experts.[1] As you will know, the one and only purpose of immigration detention is to facilitate imminent removals from the UK. There is no need for anyone’s life to be risked while global travel restrictions prevent such removals. We therefore urge you to immediately release all those held under immigration powers in the UK and put on hold any further detentions.

We also seek urgent answers as to why, in contrast to the approach taken by the Ministry of Justice in prisons, there appears to be almost no testing for Covid-19 taking place in IRCs for staff or those detained.

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