This is the first week that #Unlocked18 has focused on specific detention centres. From the 29th October to the 4th November, we ‘visited’ Brook House and Tinsley House, two detention centres next to the runway at Gatwick airport. Over 600 people can be detained across these two sites, both of which are privately run by G4S.

Here’s a recap of the week.

Rafiq’s story: “We can make this world like heaven, or we can make it like hell”

The week began with a blog by Rafiq about his experiences of being detained in Brook House. Rafiq successfully challenged the Home Office in court over the conditions in Brook House – the judge said that the Home Office had failed to look at the rights of Muslim in detention properly, and had discriminated against them.

Rafiq says:

My advice to anyone fighting the Home Office darkness is this: stay strong. You need to be very strong. You should try to understand the rules and the regulations, fight for justice, go to the court. If we fight, one day it will be right and fair for everyone.

The blog was accompanied by an illustration by @Carcazan.


The second blog of the week came from Anna Pincus of the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group, focusing on the #28for28 campaign. The #28for28 campaign featured 28 videos of the stories of those who have experienced detention, released over 28 days to highlight the need for a 28 day time limit. Anna’s blog tells the story of the campaign: from idea to crowdfunding to realisation, how it was received, and what comes next. Anna reflects:

We realise we measured time in story. Opening out the 28 days has given us a new sense of the time. It felt a long time. An age. It felt too long to be incarcerated and not a lot to ask.

How to: Help end indefinite detention

Zehrah Hasan, Policy and Campaigns Assistant at Liberty, wrote a blog about their campaign to end indefinite detention. Zehrah’s blog clearly sets out the actions you can take to help end indefinite detention: from signing their petition, to writing to your MP, to organising your own campaign event.

Live Q&A with Marino in Brook House IRC

On the 1st November, we held the first live Twitter Q&A of #Unlocked18. We spoke to Marino (not his real name), who has been detained in Brook House since May. If you missed it, you can find a full recap here.

A huge thank you to Marino, and to everyone who sent us questions.

‘I leave you to judge’: Reflections from a visitor

The final blog of the week came from Richard (not his real name), a volunteer with Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group who has been visiting people detained in Brook House and Tinsley House for 13 years. He reflects on the stories of two of the people he visited during that time, and on the responses of some of the people he talks to about detention, asking:

Would these people change their minds if they were able to meet and listen to the stories of people who are detained? I believe they would. That is why the more the plight of people in detention is publicised, the better the chance they will be treated fairly.

Get involved!

Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who has been participating in the tour this week, and who has sent us selfies! On our website, you can read more about how to get involved and take action.