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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 November 2006, 19:36 GMT
Detainees 'shouted and sworn at'
Detainees spell out "help" with bedsheets
The mutiny started after the publication of a prison report
An Iraqi asylum seeker caught up in the Harmondsworth protests has claimed detainees are regularly shouted and sworn at.

Diyako Rasul, 20, who was recently moved to the west London detention centre, alleged prison officers were disrespectful.

He made his remarks to his British partner Joanne Bean, who last spoke to him in the early hours as the mutiny spread.

He said the protest erupted after detainees watched TV reports of a prisons' watchdog probe which was highly-critical of Harmondsworth.

'It's terrible here'

Ms Bean told the BBC News website she was concerned for Mr Rasul's well-being, as he is prone to self-harming.

Mr Rasul faces deportation to northern Iraq after having exhausted his appeals for asylum.

[Diyako] said officers there have an attitude problem and they don't treat any of the detainees with respect
Joanne Bean

Ms Bean said he fled to the UK from Iraq in September 2003 after refusing to join an Islamic extremist group, of which his father is a member.

The couple were introduced by a mutual friend in Middlesborough three years ago.

However, Mr Rasul was placed in detention seven months ago and is awaiting deportation after his asylum application was turned down.

On Sunday, he was transferred to Harmondsworth from the nearby Colnbrook removal centre.

"He told me the conditions at Harmondsworth were considerably worse than at Colnbrook," said Ms Bean, 27, from Burton-on-Trent.

"He says it's terrible. There's nothing to do there. At Colnbrook, he had access to the internet so we could keep in touch via email.

"The television network had channels catering for different languages. But he said at Harmondsworth, there is no internet access and fewer TV channels.

"He said officers there have an attitude problem and they don't treat any of the detainees with respect. They shout and swear at them."

The couple last spoke on Wednesday at about 0600 BST and Ms Bean is anxiously awaiting news from him.

"I'm concerned for him because he has self-harmed and I fear he will do it again if he can't cope with the situation.

"I think the way we are treating these people is disgraceful. Many have fled oppression in their homeland and this is the welcome they get."


SEE ALSO
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29 Nov 06 |  London

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