‘Voices After Detention’ is an exciting new short film by Samphire made in collaboration with Bamidele, Hamed and Colonel who have all spent time in immigration detention. The film highlights the negative impact of detention on the lives of people detained.
Tomorrow (10 September) parliament will debate the inquiry report into the impact and use of immigration detention in the UK. This will be the first full parliamentary debate since the report was published in March 2015.
While parliament debates how and when immigration detention should be used there are currently around 4000 people held without a time limit in our detention estate. Each year approximately 30,000 will go through the same system. They are kept under lock and key and no judge or court is required to authorise their detention.
Amidst recent public awareness about people fleeing conflict such as that in Syria it is important to remember that even refugees are detained by the UK.
Bamidele, Hamed and Hassan are three of these people, detained for between 6 and 18 months. After release they decided to share their stories to raise awareness of the realities of detention and its consequences.
Meeting in London we had a long discussion about the aims and objectives of the video. In the end we decided that to focus solely on the experience of detention would be to only tell part of the story. ‘The negative impact of detention does not end when you get out’ was a clear message that everyone wanted to portray. This is why a third of the video is dedicated to highlighting the struggles people face once they have been released and why Samphire runs its Ex-Detainee Project.
After making the video Hamed said
it is important for me to tell my story and I hope that it opens the minds of the people that hear it
The government’s current policies on detention can’t be justified once you hear the damage done to people detained. We can only hope that parliament take these stories into account during the debate tomorrow.