Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre in Lincolnshire is due to close. Words of celebration and victory are coupled with mourning the deaths of those killed inside – Carlington ‘Jammy’ Spencer, Rubel Ahmed, Lukasz Debowski, Bai Bai Ahmed Kabia and over 500 suicide attempts, anger as the hostile environment continues. An inspection report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons earlier this year found high levels of self-harm, violence and use of force at Morton Hall.
The closure of Morton Hall means the reduction of the number of spaces in UK detention centres by 392 spaces, which should be claimed as a victory by those who have campaigned tirelessly for it’s closure since 2011. We give thanks and solidarity to those in South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group, Student Action for Refugees Sheffield, and campaigners from Nottingham, Sheffield, and other areas for their persistent protests for closure for the last decade.
However, the victory, as they so often do, feels bittersweet. It is a small win in the bigger fight of ending the Hostile Environment, the racist policies and practices deliberately designed by the UK government to intimidate and harm migrants in the UK. Morton Hall will cease to detain people under immigration powers, but those held there will be moved to other detention centres, rather than released. We demand their immediate release into the community. In addition, Morton Hall will revert to a prison, and we believe expansion of the prison service is another human rights injustice that must be resisted. You can find out more about this via the Campaign Against Prison Expansion website. We have written about the cruelty, harm and injustices that take place inside the walls of Morton Hall many times. Last year, protesters contributed to this article. The closure of Morton Hall cannot undo the years of harm caused within its walls at the hands of the UK government.
Source: These Walls Must Fall, https://is.gd/pdPuIQ