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The Refugee Union Behind Barbed Wire

Priti Patel’s refugee camp experiment is finally crumbling. In March, Penally Camp in Pembrokeshire — where hundreds of asylum seekers have been held in squalid conditions since September 2020 — was closed down. The barracks, complete with razor wire-topped fences and human-shaped shooting targets, has been returned to the Ministry of Defence, and will hopefully never be used to accommodate people flee-ing wars again. The closure follows months of pressure on the Home Office by human rights groups, local campaigners, MPs, doctors, and lawyers, who ran a high-profile campaign decrying the barracks’ prison-like conditions. Less well-known, however, is the role played by asylum seekers themselves in resisting their inhumane treatment every step of the way.
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