Institutional indifference – in life and death


Yarl's Wood Detention Centresource: IRR News: Harmit Athwal
published: 13 October 2014

The treatment of a homeless French man who died in immigration detention makes grim reading and shows up a callous system.

On 26 September, nearly two years after the inquest, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) published a fatal incident report into the death on 6 December 2011 of an unnamed 40-year-old French man in immigration custody in a west London hospital. He had been held at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre (IRC).

The man died after coughing up massive amounts of blood – as the result of a tuberculosis (TB) infection. The report contains few details about him, except that he was homeless and known to a charity caseworker for ‘sitting in the same spot in Marble Arch in spite of inclement weather. He wore the same clothes for six months.’

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