Letter: Hunger strikers' rights denied

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The Independent Online
Sir: The one piece of good news to have come out of the crisis over the hunger strikers is that the Government has decided not to detain asylum seekers on a second-hand American prison ship. That would have been even more awful than being locked up in Rochester prison.

However, hunger strikes by asylum detainees are not about the conditions of detention, but about the fact of detention. The vast majority of detained asylum seekers have not been brought before any court or been charged with any crime. There is no way in which the legality of their detention can be tested in the courts, and there is no limit on the time for which they may be held. The Home Office refuses to give written reasons for detaining them. They feel a deep sense of injustice.


Charter '87