Sudanese asylum seekers held at Kent barracks after crossing Channel complain they are ‘being kept like animals in pens’

ASYLUM seekers held at an Army camp in Kent after crossing the Channel have complained they're being kept like animals in pens – and say: "We wish we'd stayed in France."

The four men, who have travelled 3,000 miles to the UK from war-torn Sudan, were rescued from a dinghy by Border Force and taken to one of Britain's first migrant camps in Folkestone.




The barracks – as well as a second site near the village of Penally in Wales – will house those who make the crossing from Europe after record numbers arrived during the summer.

One of the four Sudanese asylum seekers, Amin Adam, said residents of the Kent camp – which has a 10pm curfew – were "kept like animals in pens".

He told MailOnline: "The food is no good. There is only one toilet.

"I should have made my application [for asylum] in France.

"We have more rights here [in the UK] than in France.

"I want to go to school in England and work. But this place [the barracks] is no good."

The four, who said they are in their 20s and 30s, all fled the Darfur region of Sudan.

They first made their way to Libya, before travelling by boat to Malta, then Sicily, and on through Italy.

Finally, they arrived at the Calais Jungle in northern France at the beginning of the year.

The men spent around seven months sleeping rough before attempting the Channel crossing in a dinghy they found on the beach.

Adam, Mohammed, Hussain Abu-Bakr Mohammed and Yassin Mohammed were plucked from the water two months ago off the coast of the UK as their vessel took on water.




After being processed, they were sent to a hotel in Slough, Berkshire, to await the results of their asylum applications.

And last week they were among the first to be placed at two Army facilities that will temporarily be used to house migrants.

It comes as 7,000 Channel crossings were recorded this year alone.

Another asylum seeker moved to the Folkestone camp said he was given 30 minutes' notice to leave his accommodation at a hotel in Chiswick, west London. 

"I haven't slept for five days," the former computer engineering student added.

"There is too much stress. It's like a prison."

A Government spokesman described the camps as "contingency accommodation", adding: "We have worked tirelessly… to provide asylum seekers, who would otherwise be destitute, with suitable accommodation."

Disused Napier Barracks in Folkestone will house around 400 asylum seekers.

But local MP Damian Collins has lashed out at the plans, saying the Home Office must find more "suitable" accommodation.

He said their “concentration” on sites with limited facilities was “not healthy”.

Mr Collins added: “I can understand why the Home Office don’t want to use hotels, but the question is over the number of people in a single location.”

And in a statement, Folkestone and Hythe District Council blasted the plans and said they'd not been spoken to about them.

They cited a "lack of consultation on this matter and the exceptionally poor communication with us" and said they were seeking clarification "as a matter of urgency".

A further 250 migrants will be housed in Penally.

The village currently has only 2,000 residents and the decision to open the barracks has sparked angry scenes as protesters clashed with police outside the facility.


Source: Read Full Article