12 January 2021: Independent: Home Office urged to close Napier Barracks in Kent amid warnings of unsafe and overcrowded conditions
Dozens of asylum seekers have mounted a protest over the conditions they are being held in at a former military camp in Kent, warning that being there is putting them at risk.
More than a dozen police officers responded to the peaceful protest outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone on Tuesday afternoon. Video footage shows officers lined up in front of the camp’s residents as they hold up banners warning of unsafe conditions in the camp.
Last September, the former army base was turned into accommodation for asylum-seeking men and is currently said to be housing around 400 people.
Lawyers have said the conditions at the barracks, which see residents sleeping metres apart with around 15 to a room with sheets hanging between them, may breach the law, and accuse the Home Office of trying to “avoid scrutiny” of the situation.
13.1.2021 Canary: Refugee describes ‘unbearable’ conditions at Kent military barracks
A refugee living at a military barracks in Kent has said conditions are “unbearable”, with 34 people sharing one shower.
There have been reports of suicide attempts at Napier Barracks, near Folkestone, which the Home Office is using to house asylum seekers including people who have crossed the Channel in small boats.
Dozens of residents gathered outside the barbed wire-topped fence on Tuesday chanting “freedom” and waving banners.
Many are on hunger strike and sleeping outside despite the cold nights in protest at conditions in the camp.
The Government said it takes the wellbeing of asylum seekers “extremely seriously”.