bishop 'scandalised' by treatment of asylum seekers - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
November 10, 2004

Bishop 'scandalised' by treatment of asylum seekers

-10/11/04

The Bishop of Lancaster has said that asylum seekers are "living in appalling circumstances" and that he was "scandalised" upon his recent visit to one asylum centre.

Patrick OíDonoghue's comments came as he welcomed a report which says that refugee children are suffering distress and health problems in Government detention centres.

The report by Anne Owers, Chief Inspector of Prisons, said that some youngsters confined at Oakington Centre in Cambridgeshire, are living for weeks without proper social service assessments, education or any physical activity. It went on to say that untrained staff were ìstruggling to copeî with numbers of troubled children who were ìfailing to thriveî.

Bishop OíDonoghue said: ìI welcome this timely report which reveals a situation that is all too common. Asylum seekers in detention and in the community are living in appalling circumstances. Only last week I visited a church-run centre in Liverpool for refugee mothers waiting to hear the results of asylum appeals.

ìI met about 25 women. Some of them had young children and some were pregnant. I was scandalised hearing some of the stories they had to tell of the poverty and pressures they are living under.

ìOne mother described how immigration authorities had swooped on her home in the middle of night, taking away one member of her family in handcuffs.î

A catholic priest in Liverpool recently risked jail to prevent an asylum seeker being placed in detention when police arrived at his church to take her away.

Bishop 'scandalised' by treatment of asylum seekers

-10/11/04

The Bishop of Lancaster has said that asylum seekers are "living in appalling circumstances" and that he was "scandalised" upon his recent visit to one asylum centre.

Patrick OíDonoghue's comments came as he welcomed a report which says that refugee children are suffering distress and health problems in Government detention centres.

The report by Anne Owers, Chief Inspector of Prisons, said that some youngsters confined at Oakington Centre in Cambridgeshire, are living for weeks without proper social service assessments, education or any physical activity. It went on to say that untrained staff were ìstruggling to copeî with numbers of troubled children who were ìfailing to thriveî.

Bishop OíDonoghue said: ìI welcome this timely report which reveals a situation that is all too common. Asylum seekers in detention and in the community are living in appalling circumstances. Only last week I visited a church-run centre in Liverpool for refugee mothers waiting to hear the results of asylum appeals.

ìI met about 25 women. Some of them had young children and some were pregnant. I was scandalised hearing some of the stories they had to tell of the poverty and pressures they are living under.

ìOne mother described how immigration authorities had swooped on her home in the middle of night, taking away one member of her family in handcuffs.î

A catholic priest in Liverpool recently risked jail to prevent an asylum seeker being placed in detention when police arrived at his church to take her away.

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