48K Slam PM Theresa May for Covering-Up Rape, Sexual Assault at Yarl’s Wood Detention Center

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August 01, 2016

48,000 Slam PM Theresa May for Covering-Up Rape, Sexual Assault at Yarl’s Wood Detention Center

SumOfUs Demands Prime Minister May, Serco Release of Information on Human Rights Abuses

In a petition from corporate accountability watchdog SumOfUs, signatories are calling on UK Prime Minister Theresa May to release information regarding human rights abuses at the private immigrant detention center Yarl’s Wood.

Owned by the UK-based outsourcing giant Serco, Yarl’s Wood houses hundreds of female detainees, 70% of whom are survivors of sexual assault. Last year, a report found that more than half of the women detained at Yarl’s Wood feel unsafe. Allegations of rape, sexual abuse and intimidation are rife, and some of the alleged victims have even been deported after speaking up about their experiences before they could testify to police.

View the petition here: https://actions.sumofus.org/a/theresa-may-stop-covering-up-the-abuse-at-yarl-s-wood

“Theresa May and Serco’s secrecy surrounding sexual assault at Yarl’s Wood is deplorable and unacceptable,” said Sondhya Gupta, campaigner at SumOfUs. “In her bid to become our new Prime Minister, May claimed that ‘big business needs to change’ so the country ‘works for everyone — not just the privileged few’. But she is clearly acting in the best interest of Serco, the giant corporation that runs Yarl’s Wood, and not the vulnerable women she is supposed to protect.”

The UK’s Home Office is obliged by law to disclose information within the public interest, yet the Prime Minister’s former department has refused to let that information be released. Last year, the Home Office, under May’s leadership also refused to let the UN’s Special Rapporteur on violence against women into Yarl’s Wood.

“Corporations that provide public services must be held accountable. Serco runs everything from detention centers to hospitals in the UK, and should be held to the highest possible standards. Prime Minister May must deliver on her promises and protect the women in her care, rather than Serco’s profits,” added Gupta.