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After the fire: Home Office crack down on Campsfield witness October 19, 2013

Corporate Watch received a call at 12.35 today from Stephanie Combes, fiancée of a Campsfield detainee Emidio Rios who we interviewed last night. Stephanie told us that Emidio had been assaulted by guards at Campsfield House when they found out that he was in contact with the media.

Here is a record of our conversation with Stephanie:

When the fire started at 9pm last night, Emidio was in the shower and did not hear the fire alarm. He was only told to evacuate after being spotted on CCTV - not because guards physically checked. He was then moved into a courtyard, but could see that other detainees remained inside the building unaware of the fire, because the detention centre staff had not systematically cleared the dorms. A few people were hospitalised as a result of the fire. Emidio, who speaks fluent English and has been in the UK for 20 years, rang the media and police to make a complaint about how the evacuation was handled i.e. that detainees were left inside a burning building.

When one of the detention staff discovered that Emidio had spoken to the press in the early hours of this morning, eight officers were ordered to put on riot gear, place him in a cell and beat him up. They then left him in the cell for the rest of the night. Then Emidio was transferred to London without his phone, so he could not contact anyone. At the detention centre in London, he saw a doctor who recorded his injuries. Stephanie says Emidio “has cuts and bruises all over him”.

Updated at 6pm, October 19, 2013

After Stephanie managed to speak to Emidio again this afternoon, she added that during the assault "one guard was trying to choke him for 15 minutes". Emidio now has black eyes. He was sent to the detention centre in London with no shoes, without any of his belongings, in just a shorts and T-shirt. Stephanie says Emidio was attacked because he criticised the staff for failing to check the rooms properly.

 
October 19, 2013
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