British Serco mercenaries’ anti-refugee sexual abuse

This video from England says about itself:

Song of home to Shut Down Yarl’s Wood Women’s Immigration Detention Centre, Demo in Manchester UK

2 March 2014

Demo in Manchester UK to Shut Down Yarl’s Wood Women’s Immigration Detention Centre, Town Hall, March 1, 2014.

Video Copyright Linda Dawn Hammond / 2014

Info from the WAST website:

Yarlswood Action 1st March

Start International Women’s Day with Action in Manchester

Shut down Yarl’s Wood Women’s Immigration Detention Centre!

Why is the UK locking up women and exposing them to further abuse and degradation, when they have stood up for women’s rights, fled sexual violence and abuse and have been denied basic human rights in their countries of origin?






Find out the real story from women who’ve been there. Join WAST, Safety4Sisters and Movement for Justice Campaigners. Bring ANY Musical Noise Makers

Women detainees and ex-detainees have been coming forward to speak out about the abuse they suffered and witnessed, and to demand redress. The racist and sexist regime, of legal, psychological and physical abuse which women frequently describe as mental torture at Yarl’s Wood, has been covered up for far too long.

The women imprisoned in Yarl’s Wood are systematically set up for abuse by the fact that they are treated as liars, who must prove themselves truthful whilst being detained indefinitely.

By law the ‘burden of proof’ in the asylum & immigration system means they are guilty until proven innocent. The women in Yarl’s Wood have between them successfully escaped every kind of abuse and violence that women commonly face around the world — rape, sexual abuse, forced marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, trafficking, domestic violence, child abuse, anti-gay persecution. It is known that violence against women and girls is common worldwide. Yet their claims are routinely disbelieved, and their credibility attacked. Is it any surprise that they are targeted for sexual abuse by guards in detention? The sexual abuse and its cover-up that was publicly exposed by The Observer (14th September 2013) are the inevitable products of this regime.

The public exposure of sexual abuse has come about because of the strength of a detainee who refused to be silent. There are many more ready to follow.



In Britain, the philosophy of the present government seems to be: One should fight crime by giving lots and lots of taxpayers’ money to criminal mercenary corporations like G4S and Serco. Giving these mercenaries the possibility to sexually abuse women whose only “crime” is to be refugees from bloody wars in Afghanistan, Syria or elsewhere.

From weekly The Observer in Britain:

MPs to investigate Serco over sex assault claim at Yarl’s Wood centre

Firm forced to disclose secret internal report as Keith Vaz says he is ‘shocked’ by events at immigration detention centre

• The hunt for the truth about Yarl’s Wood asylum centre

Mark Townsend, home affairs editor

Saturday 17 May 2014 21.14 BST

Serco, the private outsourcing giant, is to be investigated by MPs after it was forced to disclose a secret internal report revealing evidence that it failed to properly investigate a claim of repeated sexual assaults by one of its staff against a female resident at Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre.

The document, which was marked confidential, was made public last week following a four-month legal battle between Serco and Guardian News and Media. Lawyers said the report demonstrates a culture of disbelief towards women inside the detention centre, which is run by Serco, and hailed the high court’s decision forcing Serco to disclose the document as a victory for greater transparency.

The revelation comes a day after it was disclosed that Serco could be among companies to take over the running of privatised children’s social services, including child protection, under proposals being considered by Michael Gove’s Department for Education.

Keith Vaz, chair of the home affairs select committee, said the report’s revelations were “shocking” and warned he would be summoning senior Serco figures to parliament next month for them to explain their actions.

The report details an investigation into the claims of a 29-year-old woman from Pakistan that she was sexually assaulted three times at Yarl’s Wood by a Serco health worker between November 2010 and January 2011.

Although the claims of Sana (not her real name) remain unsubstantiated after investigations by police and the Home Office, the report’s findings and process have angered MPs and lawyers.

Among them is the revelation that a Serco guard who appeared to believe the claims made by the alleged victim be given “guidance” to assist her “objectivity” in future, and that Serco believed the alleged victim lacked credibility because her allegations were deemed too consistent and detailed.

Vaz said: “These are shocking revelations and they demonstrate to me that an internal investigation is not enough. It’s clearly the tip of the iceberg as far as these allegations are concerned and the way Serco has dealt with them.

“There needs to be an external examination following these revelations, which will look at the entire history of the allegations but also look carefully at the way in which Serco manage other properties of this kind.

“Serco will need to appear before the committee at our next inquiry looking at the whole procurement process, which we will be conducting very shortly.”

The Labour MP said that until he felt all the information on the issue had been collated, Serco should be prevented from bidding for fresh contracts.

“We should not be giving out contracts to companies who have let the country down,” he said. “This is clearly a case where there are serious questions that remain to be answered.”

Elsewhere, pressure mounted on the UK government to adequately scrutinise the ability of private companies to look after vulnerable individuals. Rashida Majoo, the United Nations special rapporteur into violence against women who was banned by the Home Office from entering Yarl’s Wood last month, said that the new material would be examined and potentially forwarded to other groups, including the UN special rapporteur on torture.

The developments will intensify concern over the outsourcing of contracts to look after some of the most needy people in society. On Saturday the Guardian revealed plans by Gove’s department to consider outsourcing child protection services to companies such as Serco.

Experts and lawyers said that the contents of the internal report had prompted fresh alarm over whether Serco could be trusted to handle such complex issues.

Former director of public prosecutions Ken Macdonald QC said that when commercial organisations are given the right to run state contracts for profit, “it is essential that they show they are capable of acting in the public interest. Here, the suggestion is that in the face of credible allegations that a member of their staff had committed repeated sexual assaults on an especially vulnerable inmate, Serco conducted an inadequate investigation in secret and then did everything they could to hide their findings from the public.”

Harriet Wistrich, the lawyer representing Sana, said: “The failure of the investigatory process affects not only the complainant but all women detained at Yarl’s Wood, since it allows abuse to continue and thrive.”

Serco’s report says:

■ The company believes that the female detention officer who believed Sana’s account should “be given advice and guidance to assist her in being more objective in the future. She should not be making judgments without knowing all the facts.”

■ The same guard “appears to have believed the allegations without considering the possibility that they have been fabricated.”

■ Serco investigators concluded it was possible that Sana “is being advised by her solicitor and befriender of actions to take in order to thwart her removal directions”.

■ Comments made by an investigating police officer suggest [Sana’s] answers were “very clinical and she didn’t appear distressed”.

■ The alleged perpetrator is a “family man with strong religious beliefs and would have a lot to lose”.

■ It is possible that Sana “manipulated the situation in order to put [alleged perpetrator] in a position where she could make an allegation”.

Michael Gove’s plan to privatise child protection services is an invitation to profit from the most vulnerable children, warns STEVEN WALKER: here.

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