An increasing number of asylum seekers are being released from detention after almost starving themselves to death, the Guardian has learned.
On Monday alone, four men were freed from Harmondsworth immigration removal centre after refusing food for weeks, according to sources both inside the centre and at the Home Office. As many as 17 inmates were on hunger strike at the centre last month, the Harmondsworth source said.
Security staff say they are placed in an impossible situation as more detainees refuse food as a means of obtaining their release. “We do not want detainees to die, but releasing them may encourage other detainees to go on hunger strike. It is a lose-lose situation,” said the Harmondsworth source, who asked not to be named for fear of losing their job.