Since March 2020, our clients held in prisons under immigration powers have suffered profound harm as a result of indefinite solitary confinement.

Prisons have been put under a severe lockdown regime with people being locked in their cells for over 22 hours a day. Some have spent 24 hours a day in their cells, for days or weeks at a time.

Our joint report ​”Every day is like torture”: Solitary confinement & Immigration detention, published with Bail for Immigration Detainees, documents the disturbing suffering and harm people have endured. Our clients have experienced the onset of new mental health conditions and the distressing deterioration of pre-existing conditions and histories of trauma, such as survivors of torture.

The government suggest that the use of solitary confinement is a public health response to COVID-19. However, this cannot be justified; prolonged solitary confinement is a practice that has been prohibited internationally by the UN in their ‘Mandela Rules’.

This practice is another iteration of the government’s cruel treatment of immigration detainees, where there is a total disregard of individual rights and safety. It must end urgently.

Related media articles ;

The Independent, 11th July 2021 : “‘It’s psychological torture’: Immigration detainees tell of being locked up for up to 24 hours a day during pandemic

The British Medical Journal, 18th June 2021