“Locked In” in Jaipur 25

Nadira is currently in Jaipur as her short film Locked In is in the official selection at the Rajasthan International Film Festival. It is showing on Tuesday at 11.44am in the Inox Crystal Palm Cinema, 22 Godam Circle, Jaipur. It is exactly a year since my appearance at the Jaipur Literary Festival to talk about Sikunder Burnes and a number of people from Jaipur have followed this blog since, plus people will be out for this year’s Literary Festival which also starts tomorrow night. So I hope some people will get along and say hi to Nadira.

The trailer for Locked In has now been seen by 27,000 people, which is a remarkable achievement.

The subject of the mistreatment of asylum seekers locked into immigration detention centres, has come to increasing prominence. There was an excellent BBC documentary, and David Hare is taking up the subject of detention centre abuse as a key element in his latest super glossy BBC thriller series, Collateral.

Theresa May, having whilst Home Secretary refused entry to Yarls Wood Detention Centre to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, has now as Prime Minister denied entry to Diane Abbott, the shadow Home Secretary. The treatment of marginalised groups in modern Britain has become unconscionable, be they asylum seekers disabled benefit claimants or others. The success of the elite in promoting victim blaming through the corporate and state media, to blame such disadvantaged groups for the blighted economic prospects of ordinary workers, will be a subject of fascination to future historians. But to live through it is sickening. I am proud of Nadira for her choice of subject and approach to her first film.

I am not involved in the discussions over how the film will be released – there are several offers from sales agents – but I hope it will be released for general viewing in the near future.

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25 thoughts on ““Locked In” in Jaipur

  • John Spencer-Davis

    I wish Nadira every success in Jaipur.

    “Theresa May, having whilst Home Secretary refused entry to Yarls Wood Detention Centre to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, has now as Prime Minister denied entry to Diane Abbott, the shadow Home Secretary.”

    On 5th September 2017, I submitted the following Freedom of Information Request to the Home Office:

    Dear Home Office,
    Please could you give me the reason why the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Rashida Manjoo, was, in April 2014, denied access to Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre.
    Please can you confirm or deny that the Prisons Inspectorate agreed the visit and that Ms Mandoo was accompanied by a member of the Prisons Inspectorate staff when she attempted to visit.
    Please can you inform me of which named person was responsible for the denial of access.
    I append an extract from Ms Manjoo’s report for your convenience.
    Many thanks.
    Yours faithfully,
    John Spencer-Davis
    United Nations General Assembly 19th May 2015
    Human Rights Council
    Twenty-ninth session
    Agenda item 3
    Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,
    political, economic, social and cultural rights,
    including the right to development
    Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo
    Mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
    Page 8
    “C. Violence perpetrated or condoned by the State
    28. The Special Rapporteur visited Hydebank Wood Prison in Northern Ireland, Cornton Vale Prison in Scotland and Holloway Prison for Women and Young Offenders in London.
    29. The Special Rapporteur regrets that, despite her repeated requests from the start of the mission, the Government did not permit a visit to Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre. In compliance with the Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate-holders of the Human Rights Council (Council resolution 5/2, annex) and the terms of reference for fact-finding missions by special rapporteurs/representatives of the Commission on Human Rights (E/CN.4/1998/45, appendix V) governing official country visits, she attempted to visit the Centre independently. However, she was denied entry and was informed by the Centre’s director that instructions had been received to deny entry to the Special Rapporteur.”

    This FOIA request should have been answered within 20 days. It is still unanswered, despite several reminders, a request for an internal review, and I have now escalated to a complaint to the Information Commissioner. The most I have got in response, in over four months, is the following:


    Dear Mr Spencer-Davis

    Thank you for your email of 29 November, in which you ask when you should expect to
    receive a response to your freedom of information request regarding the denial of United
    Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Rashida Manjoo’s entry to Yarl’s
    Wood Immigration Removal Centre. Please accept my apologies for the delay in

    Unfortunately due to unforeseen delays we are unable to confirm a date in which you can
    expect to receive this information. I would however like to once again reassure you that
    we are dealing with your request and we will send you a full reply as soon as we can.


    This is ceasing to be amusing. I will keep you all posted. J

      • John Spencer-Davis

        Mr Emundson

        I do not agree with you.

        Ms Manjoo’s visit and statement are a matter of public record, and she has disclosed information about them herself.

        Her account is obviously not complete, and may not be accurate. Therefore, confirmation of what occurred from the UK Government, and who was responsible, and why, is plainly in the public interest.

        No, I did not seek Ms Manjoo’s permission. However, I am seeking no private or personal information about her. Therefore there is no potential breach of the Data Protection Act 1998, and the Government is not entitled to exemption under Part 2 Section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

        The information is presumably held by a public body, the Home Office. Therefore I am entitled to have it communicated to me under Part 1 Section 1 (b) of the Act, unless the duty to confirm or deny is exempt under a specific provision of Part 2, or the public interest in maintaining the exclusion of the duty to confirm or deny outweighs the public interest in disclosure. “Public policy” does not enter into the matter: the test is whether or not the information is held and is not exempt.

        If what you say were true, then why the delay? One would have thought that it would be an easy matter for the Home Office to say the same, and bounce the request back to me with a refusal.

        Thanks, J

          • Clark

            Well I’d be interested to know who denied these visits, and what reasons are offered. I’d like my government to maintain the highest standards, and set a good example in the world. I’d like to know that people are treated well. I’d also like my government to be transparent and accountable; wouldn’t you, Mr Edmundson?

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Mr Emundson

            You’re welcome.

            Actually, no, I won’t. Who refused access to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women to an Immigration Removal Centre, and why, is so obviously a matter of public interest that I will not bother engaging with you further.

            Craig Murray thought it a matter of public interest. That is why he wrote above: “Theresa May, having whilst Home Secretary refused entry to Yarls Wood Detention Centre to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, has now as Prime Minister denied entry to Diane Abbott, the shadow Home Secretary. The treatment of marginalised groups in modern Britain has become unconscionable, be they asylum seekers disabled benefit claimants or others.” I assume that many people who read his blog share his concerns, which is why I publicised this FOIA request here.

            If you think it is not a matter of public interest, please do set out your reasons here, I am sure everyone would be interested to read them.

            With all due respect, please stop wasting my time.

            Thanks. J

  • Ishmael

    I hate to imagine what goes on in these places. But I’v had a clue & that was enough for me personally. Hope this film does well.

    Namaste to readers in Jaipur. I stayed on the way through Rajasthan. Lovely place, lovely people. Thanks for the reminder Craig.

  • Courtenay Barnett


    I share a common ‘locked in’ cause with you.

    I have been fighting for some years now to end the practice of imprisoning at Her Majesty’s Prison in the Turks and Caicos Islands those who suffer from mental illness – especially for no other reasons than:-

    A. Her Majesty’s Government has so far refused to end the practice for the quite obvious reason that it is more cost effective to use Her Majesty’s Prison to incarcerate ( not treat) the mentally ill – and there is the added saving of not having to build a proper mental hospital in the Turks and Caicos Islands; and
    B. The Governor effected an Executive Order making it legal to imprison the mentally ill; and
    C. I placed the matter in court and challenged the Executive Order and still – over three years on I am yet to receive the Judge’s reasons from the Habeas Corpus application to determine why the schizophrenic man was released – and the actual legal status of the Governor’s Order.

    Read all about it:-


    P.S. I await a reply from the Secretary of State to whom I wrote last year on the issue. Who cares?

  • Sharp Ears

    That is appalling and I am derided for saying there is fascism in this country.

    Diane Abbott asks for explanation over denied access to Yarl’s Wood

    Shadow home secretary writes to Home Office to ask why she has been denied visit to the immigration detention centre
    Craig’s link above.

    What are May and Rudd frightened of? An exposé of the conditions there? Serco according to Wikipedia.

    • Sharp Ears

      Diane Abbott is persistent.
      Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre:Written question – 61369
      Asked by Ms Diane Abbott
      (Hackney North and Stoke Newington)
      Asked on: 24 January 2017
      Home Office
      Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre
      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the Minister for Immigration plans to respond to the request from the hon. Member for Hackney North and Stoke Newington to visit Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre, first made in November 2016; and if she will make a statement.

    • Pyewacket

      Nice Kafkaesque line at the end of the article you cited there Sharp Ears……to preserve their Privacy and Dignity. You couldn’t make it up.

    • nevermind

      Maybe there are reasons to deny both the UN Rapporteur and Diane Abbott access to this publicly paid for facility since we have lost so many of our external interrogation services from various dictators.

      Are people being tortured in Yarls wood? are they being mistreated in any way turning this ‘detention centre’ into a modern concentration camp? With such access denial people will make these sort of assumptions, I mean they could not deny it just out of spite/ignorance and or disrespect… or could they?

  • Ishmael

    There’s always been this nasty undercurrent in English society. And it comes right from the top. As expressed in lawless comments by the “defence” security, or actions of MPs behind the curtains. It festers widely in the police & security, & rubs off on citizens who have had the misfortune to encounter them. All the thugs I know have done time, that’s why they are thugs. & chances are they initially developed the mentality by knowing or being a relation to someone in authority. It’s like a licence to be a bastard.

    A guy I knew who’d been inside said to me “you know it’s all fu’ed up there?”. Yea, I know. In reality little is about justice. It’s about domination & contoll by thugs & bullies. Right to the top.

    And I don’t care what position they hold, they are still just bullies & should be stood up to. If we as a society allow them what kind of a place do we expect.

    And we do still allow it, in detention centres, in the “justice” system, in schools. It’s intolerable.

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