What: National Demonstration
When: Saturday 5th June 2021, 2pm
Where: HMP Full Sutton, Moor Lane, York, YO41 1PS
What to bring: PPE, food and drink
Transport: The prison has NO public transport links available, for prisoner families taxis can cost £25 each way from York City Centre.
CAPE is therefore organising transport from across the UK, as well as collections from York Train Station.
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The demonstration will start at 2pm to allow people to travel there from across the UK. There will be speeches from campaigns fighting police violence, prisons and detention.
- The Government are planning to build a 1440 bed mega-prison at the site of HMP Full Sutton. It will lock up thousands of people for years to come if built.
- HMP Full Sutton has a long legacy of violence and racism. Officers act with impunity in the rural prison with beatings, racist abuse and violence as common occurrences.
- Prison officers recently attacked Dwayne, a Black Muslim man held in the segregation unit. Dwayne was severely beaten by 4 white officers in a racist attack. He was left vomiting and dizzy in a cell covered in blood, denied medical treatment and access to a lawyer. His applications to have photos taken of his injuries have been refused by officers. It was three days until the prison staff cleaned the blood from his cell.
- The prison is holding Kevan Thakrar in solitary confinement in the prison’s segregation unit. Kevan is a long term prisoner who has been campaigning for his freedom since 2008 when he was wrongly convicted due to systemic racism, ID parades and police corruption. Kevan was convicted under the racist Joint Enterprise Doctrine and the prison has repeatedly acted with violent retribution where he has tried to defend himself. Learn more about his case here: justiceforkevan.org
- Kevan has been held in a dirty punishment cell with no electricity since the middle of April 2021. This demonstration is a demand to get him transferred out of the prison.
- HMP Full Sutton is also the site of one of the country’s Close Supervision Centres. These are ‘prisons within prisons’, the UK equivalent of the USA’s ‘Supermax’ prisons. They are the highest security and most repressive prison units within the country, where prisoners are held in solitary confinement in an extremely controlled environment for long periods of time. Kevan Thakrar was placed in the CSC system after he defended himself against a racist attack by prison guards in 2010.
- Kevan’s case and the broader CSC system have recently been the focus of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. They wrote: “…we express our grave concern at the indefinite and prolonged detention of Mr. Thakrar in what appears to be conditions of solitary confinement. Both in this individual case and in terms of general policy, we are particularly concerned at the reported use of prolonged or indefinite solitary confinement in Close Supervision Centers, thus predictably inflicting severe pain or suffering amounting to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, or even torture.”