Bullying, racism, physical abuse – and no idea when we’d get out. Our treatment in immigration detention was a scandal

I thought this moment would never come, but I always clung on to hope. I spent nearly two years in Brook House immigration detention centre and I was abused by the officers, like so many other people there. It often felt as if no one would ever find out what was happening. But on Friday a judge ordered an inquiry that will make sure the voices of people like me are heard, and make sure our abusers will finally face justice.

If you saw BBC’s Panorama documentary in 2017 on abuse in immigration detention services, you would have seen me. But what was shown on TV wasn’t even half of what went on. We were bullied every day. We were mocked all the time. There would be a casual racist taunt as you came down to breakfast – a casual punch as you went to your cell to try to sleep. And much more. Those who couldn’t speak English got it the worst. Someone I knew well tried to hang himself; the officers took their time in responding. They didn’t care whether we lived or died.

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