UK grants freedom to immigration detainees who have no home address

  • More than 400 detainees have been released since Coronavirus outbreak hit the Brits
  • Coronavirus Cases:114,217 Deaths:15,464

Akil  one of the detainees gives a recount on how he felt when he was released and asked to go home but he has no place called home

"I always thought I'd be really happy when it came to it, but I didn't feel anything … Just a bit confused about why me - why I was being let go," he says.

Minutes earlier, with a judge in court, solicitor at home and he in his single cell, Akil had been granted bail via video link. He was instructed to sign a document setting out the terms of his three-month release and then ordered to leave Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre in Lincolnshire, eastern England. 

Without an address of his own, Akil had no choice but to call his sister and ask to stay at her home until his temporary release comes to an end in July.

"I didn't really know where to go," he tells Al Jazeera. "No one asked me if I had anywhere to stay … I just got my stuff and walked out.

"If this had been a couple of months ago, I could've celebrated my freedom," he adds. "But now I'm just sitting around, [I] can't see nobody, there's nothing going on."

According to the Ministry of Justice  153 staff and prisoners had tested positive for coronavirus and 12 had died.


Is the UK GOVT right in releasing people to homelessness?

There is a growing concern among charitable organisations that without adequate rehabilitation given to the offenders, they will return to a life of crime.

"Releasing people to homelessness and destitution is wrong and unlawful," says Bella Sankey, director of charity Detention Action. "The Home Office has had months to consider its strategy. It was completely foreseeable that removals would not be possible and that people needed to be safely housed instead."

The rate at which the COVID 19 outbreak is spreading in the UK has left the government with no option than to release as many offenders before it gets out of control.

The UK government has said it will review each individual's circumstances on a "case-by-case basis". Charities argue that, where reviews have been conducted, many detainees have not been informed of the outcome