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Asylum-seekers in Wales march out of army barracks demanding an end to their imprisonment

by Bethany Rielly

ASYLUM-SEEKERS at an army barracks in Wales marched into the local town on this afternoon with banners reading: “Close the camp” and “We want normal life, no prison.” 

Around 250 men have been held in Penally Camp since September, when the Home Office decided to use the disused army base as temporary accommodation for asylum-seekers. 

Residents claim conditions at the site are not safe, and have repeatedly raised concerns about a lack of access to medical care and legal support.

Today a group of 40 men from the camp took to the streets to voice their frustration and demand it be shut down.

Walking from the camp to the nearby town of Tenby, protesters, chanting: “We are civilians,” held pieces of carboard asking: “Where are [our] human rights?”

The protest was the second in 24 hours after a group of around 50 asylum-seekers marched to Tenby on Wednesday night with similar demands. 

Local anti-racist campaigner Patrick Connellan said that frustrations have been growing in the camp. 

“Nothing really has changed in terms of the conditions, if anything they seem to have got worse,” he told the Morning Star. 

“I think they feel they are being forgotten about. They are aware that there’s a camp in Norfolk where half are being transferred, yet apart from 18 people that seems to [have stopped], so they’re thinking: ‘Why aren’t our lives getting any better?’”

It comes as Plaid Cymru called this week for an urgent inspection of the site after residents repeated claims of unsafe and unsanitary conditions. 

The Home Office claims that the camp is safe and “Covid compliant.”  

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