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'We really need your help': Migrant children throw letter over wall begging for help to escape 'prison'
2 November 2022, 19:26 | Updated: 3 November 2022, 06:53
Migrant children being held in the overcrowded, disease-ridden processing centre in Manston have thrown a letter over the wall pleading for help escaping from the "prison".
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A young girl being held in the centre threw the letter in a bottle over to a photographer working for the PA news agency on Wednesday.
Hundreds of people have reportedly been moved out of the Manston centre, in north-east Kent, over concerns of overcrowding and unsanitary conditions.
The letter said: "We are in a difficult life now ... we fill like we're in prison [sic] "Some of us very sick ... ther's some women's that are pregnant they don't do anything for them [sic] ... We really need your help. Please help us."
The letter claims there is a disabled child at the site, adding: "He's really bad, they don't even care about him.
"It's not easy for someone who has children ... There's a lot of children they shouldn't be here. They should be in a school not prison," it adds.
The letter went on to say: "our food is very bad like its make us fill sick ... we got no phone no money no smok [sic]."
Witnesses said they saw security guards at the site ushering detainees back inside when members of the press were walking by the fence.
The young girl was among a group of children who broke past security guards and ran over to the fence to throw the bottle to the photographer.
The letter added: "We wanna talk to you but they don't even let us go outside."
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick said on Tuesday the number of migrants had "fallen substantially", with more expected to be moved the following day.
The situation had been branded a "breach of humane conditions" with 4,000 people being held there as opposed to its capacity of 1,600.
'Are migrants being detained at camps rather than being moved to hotel
A Home Office spokesman said: "Manston remains resourced and equipped to process migrants securely and we will provide alternative accommodation as soon as possible.
"We urge anyone who is thinking about leaving a safe country and risking their lives at the hands of vile people smugglers to seriously reconsider.
"Despite what they have been told, they will not be allowed to start a new life here." The department said it provides for all the basic needs of migrants arriving in the UK, their safety and those of its staff are its utmost priority and it is committed to protecting their welfare.