Hundreds of refugees evacuated from 'inhumane' Manston immigration facility after overcrowding

Hundreds of refugees evacuated from 'inhumane' Manston immigration facility after overcrowding
The Manston immigration facility in Kent has previously housed hundreds of refugees but is now dangerously overcrowded.
2 min read
02 November, 2022
Hundreds of migrants are being evacuated from the Manston centre [Getty]

Hundreds of asylum seekers at a notorious UK immigration processing centre have been evacuated after "dangerous overcrowding" at the site, according to local media.

Manston, a former military base, houses around 4,000 refugees, despite having space for only 1,600, leading to outbreaks of disease and people sleeping on floors.

Residents have variously described the camp as "filthy", where violence and scabies are common.

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman had told the cabinet that "large numbers" of refugees had been taken from Manston to other accommodation to "help relieve pressure" on the site.

Coaches arrived at the site on Tuesday to evacuate refugees with Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick saying more will be escorted out on Wednesday but it is not yet clear how many were relocated.

"Thanks to the hard work and professionalism of Home Office and Border Force staff, military personnel and our contractors, we have made good progress," he said.

"Numbers of migrants have fallen substantially today [Tuesday] and we expect them to do so again tomorrow. Unless we receive an unexpectedly high number of migrants in small boats in the coming days, numbers will fall significantly this week."

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Manston was intended to be a short-term processing centre for migrants who have made the dangerous crossing to the UK via the Channel.

The former RAF airfield has been described as "a prison" with residents denied access to outdoors and beds, according to the prisons watchdog.

Refugee rights activists have warned about growing anti-migrant sentiments in the UK, in part fanned by volatile rhetoric on the issue by politicians, including members of the government.

Last week, a 66-year-old man threw between two and three petrol bombs at an immigration processing centre in southern England.