Home Office accused of cover-up at camp for asylum seekers

23 November 2020: Guardian: Home Office accused of cover-up at camp for asylum seekers

Official Secrets Act used to prevent volunteers discussing ‘disturbing’ conditions at ex-barracks

Volunteers have been asked to sign confidentiality agreements underpinned by the Official Secrets Act before entering an army barracks used to house asylum seekers, as details emerge of the “disturbing” conditions on the site.

The Home Office has been accused of attempting to cover up what is happening at Napier barracks near Folkestone, Kent, where there have been hunger strikes, suicide attempts, unrest and regular medical emergencies among residents.

Volunteers providing warm clothing, amenities, company and counselling to the 400 men housed on the site have been confronted with the confidentiality form by the private firm running the repurposed site on behalf of the Home Office. [Read more]

The Home Office is using ‘contingency sites’ to house people seeking asylum because there is a long-term build up of people waiting for decisions that have not yet been processed. StatusNow4All would clear this backlog simply and offers an opportunity for UK to respect people’s human rights, dignity, and health and safety, especially at this time of the Covid-19 pandemic