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Faith groups protest immigration detention laws

Sun 05 Jul 2015
By Hannah Tooley

Christians, Muslims and Jews are gathering together to discuss immigration detention laws in the UK.

At present the UK is the only country not to have a time limit on how long someone can be held for.

The 'Time for a time limit' campaign aims to change that to ensure that innocent and vulnerable people are not locked up.

The event on Sunday aims to highlight the plight of those held in detention for centres for up to 28 days.

Speakers at the event include Most Revd Kevin McDonald, Emeritus Archbishop of Southwark as well as Imam Dr Mamadou Bocoum, Director of Interfaith through the Arts.

Rabbi Natan Levy, chair of the Jewish Action Social Forum, is also speaking. He told Premier that: "Often at times our religions are seen as what divides us, but here we have an opportunity to sort of reach out and say our faith is what pushes us towards justice, and that we can do together.

"In this instance, let's use our faith to make a positive change."

He added that the experience of being away from home was something that affected him: "There are people who are in jail, in prison, who haven't committed any crime, who're simply seeking a home and a life - and that resonated with myself and my Jewish colleagues."

He told Premier people of all faiths and no faiths will be attending and will be united together as a hopeful voice for those detained: "When it comes to human rights and it comes to justice, I think we may not all agree about what's happening in heaven but I think we have to agree what justice looks like here on earth."

Most Revd Kevin McDonald spoke how these people who had often "survived war, trauma and persecution, will experience severe distress and further loss of dignity while they wait for their asylum claims to be processed.

"The people in Harmondsworth may only be 200 metres from us, but in terms of the rights that every human deserves - justice, equality and liberty - they are a million miles away."

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Rabbi Natan Levy here:


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