Is there an ongoing hunger strike at infamous Yarl’s Wood?

Yarl's Wood Immigration Centre.
Yarl's Wood Immigration Centre.

It is unclear whether detainees being held at the controversial Yarl’s Wood facility have gone on hunger strike.

There have been conflicting reports that women at the Beds centre are refusing to eat while Serco, which runs the base on behalf of the Home Office, says detainees have been buying food in the on-site shop.

Asylum seekers, who are currently waiting to find out if they will be allowed to stay in the country at Yarl’s Wood, staged a peaceful protest on Tuesday evening.

The infamous centre hit the headlines following secret filming by Channel 4 News, which revealed shameful behaviour of officers who described detainees as ‘caged animals’ and showed little sympathy for their plight.

A spokesman for Serco said: “Yarl’s Wood continues to be calm today following a peaceful protest in the garden.

“There are some residents who did not eat their meal in the canteen on Tuesday night, but we know that many of them have been buying food at the shop.

“We are continuing to engage with and talk to the residents in the usual way.”

Already much criticised with past claims of sexual abuse and women being watched while in the shower or on the toilet by men officers,

Yarl’s Wood was discussed in the House of Commons on Tuesday after it was raised as an urgent question.

Following C4’s findings an investigation has been launched and Serco has suspended two members of staff.

For previous articles on Yarl’s Wood, click the links below:

Befriending group welcomes recommendations in report on immigration detention centres

Another person is suspended from Yarl’s Wood and more are facing sanctions following C4 investigation

Urgent question about Yarl’s Wood due to be asked in Parliament following shocking undercover filming report