Friday, August 18, 2006

Breastfeeding mums detained away from babies

This made me very angry reading this report about breastfeeding mothers who are "failed asylum seekers"being separated from their babies. In March 2006 a Vietnamese woman was seized by immigration officials from her home in Birmingham and taken to the utterly grim and reprehensible Yarl's Wood without her six-month old baby. She had no contact with her baby for 4 days.

Eventually she was allowed to see her baby after a reprieve allowing her to stay in the country to challenge the decision. Liam Byrne (immigration minister) suggested it was an isolated case but yet another case has emerged of a Turkish woman who has since been granted asylum was separated from her baby after she was told she had no legal right to stay in the UK. She was taken to Yarl's Wood and separated from her baby for 2 nights.

"I have had terrible experiences in Turkey, but this was worse. I thought constantly of my son. I cried all the time. It has taken my son some time to settle down after my return. His sleep pattern was disturbed and his behaviour deteriorated".

Annette Elder, the solicitor for both women, argued the women been involved in criminal proceedings proper childcare arrangments would have been made before being separated from their mothers.

Patti Rundall, from Baby Milk Action, argued that both cases go against UN resolutions and conventions such as the Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding .

Anne Owens, Chief Inspector of Prisons has recently written a report condemning Yarl's Wood for child detention. There have been hunger strikes by families detained there as well. The place is wretched and should be shut-down along with the vile Campsfield House. The way these women have been treated further exposes the racist and sexist attacks by the British State towards asylum seekers. The absolute contempt shown towards these women by immigration officials and that fact that New Labour is only to happy to bang up asylum seekers and their families beggars belief.

What about transforming these vile places into detention centres for Bliarite racist scum-bags? Just a thought......