She claimed asylum on arrival in the UK in mid-2005, but her story was disbelieved by the immigration service and she was detained on “Fast Track” at Yarl’s Wood IRC for three and a half months.
A had a number of serious health problems which were severely neglected by Yarl’s Wood healthcare. She was never seen by a gynaecologist nor screened for sexually-transmitted infections during her time in detention.
A had raised blood pressure: this too was not investigated or treated. A suffered diabetes, which was also not treated, and she developed a painful and long-standing complication of damage to the nerves in her feet.
A also suffered severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and was placed on suicide watch for several weeks after harming herself.
She was given counselling treatment but still held in detention in contravention of the Home Office’s own rules.
Attempts were made to remove her while she was on continuous 24 hour suicide watch.
Although her asylum claim was ruled not credible, A was threatened by an immigration officer during a failed removal attempt that the army in her home country would be informed about her arrival unless she co-operated with her removal.
After being seen by a doctor working with Medical Justice, and efforts by her solicitors, A was released from detention and is pursuing a claim for damages against the Home Office.
(GP registered under section 12 of the Mental Health Act, Harrow Road Health Centre)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 January 2008 13:46