What is Campsfield and why close it?
Campsfield House is an Immigration Detention Centre at Kidlington, six miles from Oxford. It is a prison run for private profit by Group 4, supervised by Home Office immigration officials. It used to be a youth detention centre, but it re-opened as an Immigration Detention Centre in November 1993. The local parish council was opposed to it, but their wishes were overruled by the Home Office.
There are 200 detainees in Campsfield House. Most are political refugees fleeing danger, torture and even death from countries such as Nigeria, Algeria, Ghana, Turkey, India and Zaire. They are held without charge, without time limit, without proper reasons given, and without proper access to legal representation. Amnesty International report that these are breaches of internationally recognised human rights. The former Chief Inspector of HM Inspectorate of Prisons (Judge Stephen Tumim) and The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture have condemned conditions at Campsfield House.
Detainees at Campsfield `House' are held behind a twenty-foot high razor-wire topped fence. Throughout the centre there are surveillance cameras, and friends and relatives wishing to visit detainees are searched before passing through five separate remote-controlled doors. There is an intrusive tannoy announcement system which can be heard everywhere, including the shared cell-bedrooms. Campsfield House operates as a high-security prison.
The Campaign to Close Campsfield is supported by refugee organisations, trades unions, political parties, student organisations and religious groups.
On these pages we explain why Campsfield must be closed, what we are doing to get it closed, and how you can join us.