JRS UK calls for Bibby Stockholm to be closed following reported suicide

December 12, 2023

The Jesuit Refugee Service UK (JRS UK) has repeated calls for the government to close the Bibby Stockholm barge after a person died there on Tuesday in a reported suicide.  

Sarah Teather, Director of JRS UK said:  

"These are the real human consequences of deliberate and performative cruelty against people seeking sanctuary in the UK. It is time to stop focusing on the politics and start considering the people whose lives are torn apart by these appalling practices.  
The government must immediately stop placing people on the Bibby Stockholm, and instead ensure they can access safe and dignified accommodation in our communities.”    

Forcing people to live on the barge is part of a wider move to place those seeking asylum in large-scale, institutional, out-of-town, and quasi-detention settings, that is strongly opposed by JRS UK.  

Earlier this year the charity warned that:  

“Those forced to live on the barge will be subjected to overcrowding and, at best, face severe restrictions in movement. Large-scale, detention-like sites such as this expose people who have fled danger to severe re-trauma; cause near universal, chronic sleep deprivation; and rapidly lead to deterioration in their mental health.”  

Following the death on Tuesday, Sarah Teather added:  

“We know only too well from our experience of accompanying people at Napier Barracks, the brutal reality of these large-scale containment sites. They are deeply harmful. Our thoughts and prayers are with the man who died, his friends and family, those still onboard the barge, and everyone affected by this tragedy.”  

More information:

JRS UK Bibby Stockholm information sheet: jrsuk.net/bibby-stockholm-barge/  

JRS UK Napier Barracks: the inhumane reality jrsuk.net/napier-report/  

Photo by ev on Unsplash

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