Day to day life in detention

Post 29 of 36

Tell me about your room and the day-to-day routines in the detention centre.

To be honest with you it is not like a room, it is like a jail or prison, and you can’t imagine how the beds here are. We have a toilet in our room and the shower is outside in another place. Normally two people live there, but they keep moving me – at the moment I am in a bigger room with 3 people. We have a bunk bed and a single bed. There’s a window in the room but it just looks out onto walls and the barbed wire around the fence.

Harmondsworth IRC

Harmondsworth IRC

There is no certain time to go bed but in the night we are not allowed to walk around. We have to be in our room after 10 pm. They don’t lock us in at night here, but in F wing (where people are deported from) they lock people in at 10 pm so people must sleep and there is nothing to do!

There are certain times to eat here and if you lose this time there is no chance to eat! For example if you have a legal visit or visitor and you miss your meal, it’s too late! And most of meals are too spicy, I don’t know why?!! Maybe they think all of us came from India or Pakistan!

We can buy things we need at certain times but we have to wait in a long queue. We have a card like a debit card instead of money. We can’t use cash money here. I think that’s a good system, because if I had cash and I put it in my bedroom, maybe someone would come and steal it. Any cash people have or important things are kept in the storage place. You have to go and ask for your things and sometimes it takes 2 or 3 days for them to give you your things. Or sometimes they will give it to you that day.

There are machines to wash our clothes but only one of the washing machines is working here and everybody who wants can use that, but you know it is not healthy, because there are lots of different people here using one machine, so it’s unhygienic. You always have to queue for a long time. Sometimes I leave a paper next to my washing saying that I’m in the queue, if I need to go and eat or something. But when I come back, there’s always someone else’s clothes in the machine!

I can use the internet any time I want but I must wait about 2-3 hours in a long queue and at the end we are faced with a such a low speed Internet and Blocked Web sites, even sometimes you can’t access your email like Hotmail! Yes this is our good global village in 21st century.

You asked me about outside. Outside!! I think there is big different between OUTSIDE and this small yard just for smoking people. Yes there is just a small yard here where you can smoke and there is no green space here! It’s really like a prison. I get so bored here.

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