Thousands call for refugee camps at military barracks to be shut down

Support us and go ad-free

Thousands of people are calling for controversial military barracks where refugees are being housed to be shut down.

A petition to close camps in Kent and Wales has racked up more than 7,500 signatures in just a few hours after being launched on Friday morning. The petition states:

Since September last year, the government has been using decommissioned army barracks in Wales and Kent to house asylum seekers.

People are sleeping in dormitory style blocks with bunk beds and are unable to socially distance or properly self-isolate. They do not have access to adequate healthcare.

Trapped in the camps, the mental health of residents is deteriorating too and there have been a number of suicide attempts.

We wrote to the government, with the British Medical Association, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Faculty of Public Health and others to warn them about the dire health risks of housing these very vulnerable people in the camps. They rejected our concerns.

Now there’s been a Covid outbreak in one of the barracks and it can only be a matter of time before infection is rife in both centres.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

This cannot continue.

Charities have repeatedly raised concerns about conditions inside Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, and Penally Barracks in Pembrokeshire since they were commandeered by the Home Office last year.

In recent days, a coronavirus outbreak has hit the Kent site, where hundreds of people are living behind the barbed wire-topped fences.

Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent
There has been a a coronavirus outbreak at Napier Barracks (Gareth Fuller/PA)

There have been reports of suicide attempts in the Army barracks and many residents went on hunger strike in protest at the conditions, which reportedly include 34 people sharing one shower.

A petition launched by charity Freedom From Torture to empty the barracks and close them down on Friday morning has already racked up thousands of signatures.

By around 11.30am, more than 7,500 signatures had been gathered, just hours after the petition went live.

The petition can be accessed here: https://action.freedomfromtorture.org/close-the-barracks-1

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us