Campaigners slam new whitewash of Medomsley Detention Centre site
The cross-party campaigning Group “No To Hassockfield” has branded recent announcements about the proposed detention centre planned for Medomsley as cynically white-washing the violent history of the place.
The No to Hassockfield Campaign, a human rights focused campaign group, have branded recent announcements about the proposed Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) planned for Medomsley Edge as cynically white-washing the history of the site of what was Medomsley Detention Centre, a notorious secure unit for boys.
The Government very quietly awarded the contract for running the centre to the private outsourcing company Mitie.
Mitie itself is already advertising jobs at “Derwentside IRC”, describing it as their new Immigration removal centre and claiming it to be “short stay” without any indication as to how or why this IRC will detain people for any shorter time than all the others.
“Unlike other countries in the 47 strong Council of Europe, the UK detains people without time limit,” said local campaigner Judith Brown, “and with the government itself admitting to having locked several detainees up without trial for more than three years it is simply dishonest to describe this centre as Short Stay.”
Another campaigner called the use of the name Derwentside IRC a marketing ploy to disassociate the new centre from the ugly history of the site, but added that it would achieve nothing.
Doctor Helen Groom said, “If this centre opens it is inevitable that tragedy will occur soon after. You cannot lock up traumatised women with neither trial or adequate reason without provoking self-harm, suicide attempts and many other forms of suffering. Nor can you lock up anyone on this site without re-opening the scars and trauma of hundreds of men who have already suffered unimaginable harm.”
The No To Hassockfield Campaign vows to keep up pressure on all decision makers by any means possible to protect these vulnerable women, and the hundreds of young men who were abused there in the decades from 1960 to 1990 against the opening of this IRC, and to prevent the reputation of the local area from being stained again in this way.