An investigation into conditions at Harmondsworth Removal Centre by the UK inspector of prisons has turned up some shocking treatment of Centre Detainees.
In one case, an 84 year old Canadian man with Altziemer's, diabetes and a heart condition, who inexplicably turned up at London's Gatwick Airport (no one seems to know how he managed to arrange his flight or where he was trying to go) was held at the Centre, despite a Doctor's report that found him unfit for detention or removal and recommended "social care". When he became ill, he was transported to hospital in handcuffs, and died 5 hours later, still handcuffed. Another detainee who was sent to hospital for angioplasty was kept in handcuffs, even while on the operating table, sedated. Yet another detainee who was handcuffed for transport, was in a wheelchair after suffering a stroke.
In addition to the excessive use of handcuffs, a surprise inspection of the centre resulted in a report that called it "dirty, bleak, overcrowded and "in a state of drift.""
The Detention Centre is run by a private contractor, Geo, which is a UK subsidiary of an American prison management company of the same name. The UK Government has responded to the report by saying that it will scrutinize Geo's performance at another centre that they run as well. The Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, has also said that there is "uncertainty in the future of [GEO's] management contract". Hopefully, this means that GEO won't be in charge much longer.
ETA Channel Four is reporting that Alois Dvorzac was attempting to get to Slovenia to find his long lost daughter. How utterly heartbreaking. http://www.channel4.com/news/harmondsw…