Sangita Myska links attitude of political leaders to 'toxic culture' revealed at immigration removal centre

19 September 2023, 17:11

Sangita Myska reacts to a 'toxic culture' being found at migrant removal centre Brook House

By Abbie Reynolds

An inquiry into immigration removal centre Brook House has found 'pain and humiliation' inflicted on detainees.

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"This is where we have come to in this country," Sangita began.

"In my view - the rhetoric that has been used by our political leaders is now filtering down to the point where security staff are, who are being paid, of course to watch detainees but also to ensure their well-being and safety, are using phrases like, 'Let's go in and manhandle him. If he dies, he dies.'

"That is where we are at."

LBC reporter Charlotte Lynch talked listeners through the report into Brook House where an officer had been carrying out undercover filming. Audio heard staff at the centre talking about "punching someone in the chest," "walking over their back" and while restraining detainees saying, "If he dies, he dies".

READ MORE: Migrants at 'prison-like' Brook House detention centre abused by guards, with inquiry calling for 'wholesale' change

Charlotte Lynch details 'dehumanisation' of migrants at Brook House

Sangita's horror continued: "The government and Brook House leaders made the case that this was just a tiny number of badly behaved security staff, that was rejected by the inquiry report - that said, 'This isn't a one off, There's systemic problems here'."

"The way in which we have people like [Suella] Braverman using toxic rhetoric, isn't there clearly going to be a point in which these collide into the actual treatment of asylum seekers and refugees and those who are found, like this lot, migrants whose cases where not upheld and should have probably been removed years ago."

The chairwoman of the inquiry Kate Eve, said detainees shouldn't be held in Brook House for longer than 28 days, however she found people being housed their for up to 2 years.

Kate Eve's report also cited a "terrifying" moment where a detention custody officer put his hands around a detainee's neck and called him a "f****** piece of shit", adding: "I'm going to put you to f****** sleep".

Director of Detention Action on state of detention centres following abuse revelations

"Surely, there is some connection, isn't there, to the way this government has systematically underfunded our immigration system and the way these staff think they can treat other human beings - which is 'dehumanising' them, in the words of this inquiry." Sangita exclaimed.

Director of Detention Action (a charity which supports people held in detention centres), James Wilson, told Sangita "it's a shocking report". And echoed the findings that immigrants are being "dehumanised" as he said they are often being held in "essentially a prison" setting.

READ MORE: 'Treat traffickers like terrorists': Sir Keir Starmer outlines plan to deal with Channel migrant gangs on EU tour