Great news from Hands off Somalia!
Campaigners hailed this not only a massive victory for Said, but the campaign, and all those both inside and outside immigration detention who have supported Said and his fight for justice.
Once Said finally left Colnbrook IRC, he was incredibly happy and thanked all his supporters for their courage and efforts against his oppressors in UKBA and SERCO. Said was also temporarily released with Selim, an Afghan man also on hunger strike for over 15 days.
Colnbrook IRC is a high level security prison used to detain immigrants, constructed under the previous Labour government.
Said was freed on Friday under temporary measures set out by UKBA, after doctors inside the centre became outraged and disgusted at his ongoing treatment in the immigration prison. Said will have to sign on at a reporting centre on 22 March, another chance for UKBA to snatch him as he still does not have proper bail or any temporary citizenship whilst he seeks justice.
UKBA retreated and signed Said out after tens of supporters continuously rang and faxed Colnbrook IRC and UKBA to complain about Said’s treatment,
Many campaigners from groups including Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, No Borders, Prisoners Advice Service, Medical Justice, and BID mobilised to help Said as well as countless individuals from Britain and abroad who heard about his case via mailing lists and online tools like Twitter. John Mcdonnell MP also contacted the immigration minister about Said’s case.
Said was then sent to local Hillingdon Hospital for a check up, the hospital which has a history with below par treatment for immigrant prisoners from the local Colnbrook and Harmondsworth detention centres.
Doctors at Hillingdon put Said on a drip but offered him no advice on how to begin eating again after a hunger strike.
Instead the hospital gave Said a sandwich to eat, a dangerous move as eating the wrong things could be deadly for the body after such a prolonged period without eating. Guides recommend hunger strikers eat liquid foods and juice in small portions until 2 weeks or so have elapsed. This is not the first time Said has been neglected by doctors and medical staff in and surrounding Colnbrook IRC.
Hands off Somalia supporters went to the hospital to help Said with his bags and to move out of the area.
UKBA told Said he would get a train ticket to his friends house out of London, but UKBA never produced the ticket. Said had to rush to the train station to buy his own ticket before the last trains at midnight.
Going forward the campaigns and supporters involved are re-energised to support Said, fight deportations and stop the criminalisation of immigrants in Britain.
Together we are stronger and a victory for one is a victory for all.
Shut down Colnbrook IRC!
Hands off Somalia! Hands off immigrants!