Press Statement from Birnberg Peirce & Partners Solicitors
12 August 2005
The seven men we represent who were suddenly arrested yesterday morning have been imprisoned separately as far away as it is possible to place them from their families (those who are married), their lawyers and importantly their doctors, in Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire and Full Sutton prison near York.
One was taken from the psychiatric hospital where he has been an inpatient since his release from Broadmoor Hospital under a Control Order on March 11th of this year. He is one of two men now rearrested who were moved from Belmarsh prison to Broadmoor Hospital in 2004 after three years of indefinite detention had destroyed their sanity. They are at serious risk; we are informed that all of those now detained at Long Lartin prison are on suicide watch. These include a third man who was released from Belmarsh to house arrest in 2004 because he too had been driven into madness by incarceration in prison. All of the detainees are refugees; so too are their families; most are victims of torture.
The Home Office is completely aware of the recent serious psychiatric history of each and the reasons for that history.
The Home Office itself proposed bail on conditions for each of these men in March 2005 even before each man was made the subject of a Control Order. Each man and his family have since then struggled to abide by complicated and severe conditions. No one can possibly suggest that any man is arrested because he has breached those conditions. No one can possibly suggest that any is connected in any way to the incidents in this country that have claimed to be the reason for the measures being taken against them.
Those held in Full Sutton prison have been put into a Special Secure Unit that was closed down a decade ago on the basis it was unfit for human habitation, in particular because it is suffocatingly claustrophobic. Cells in that unit are even smaller than those in Belmarsh prison. The windows look out onto an exercise yard so dark that lights have to be kept on at all times. The unit is literally covered in cobwebs. It remains unfit for humans.
Birnberg Peirce & Partners 12/08/2005