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‘We escaped from war to prison’: Migrants protest after being housed in ex-military base in Wales (VIDEO)

‘We escaped from war to prison’: Migrants protest after being housed in ex-military base in Wales (VIDEO)
Migrants have staged a protest at an asylum camp in Wales, demanding better living conditions and comparing their temporary home to a prison. The site has been described as “unacceptable” by the Welsh first minister.

A protest took place on Wednesday as asylum seekers and human rights groups demanded better living conditions for those temporarily housed at the Penally asylum center, an ex-military base near a sleepy holiday town in Wales. 

Dozens of camp residents stood outside the former base to air their grievances. Many held banners, with messages including ‘We escaped from war to prison’ and ‘Save us from Covid,’ a reference to the multiple occupancy rooms in the camp. 

“It’s like a jail – there’s no privacy in the room. Six people in a room – it’s not safe with coronavirus. Life here is very bad,” said one. 

Another resident said, “We escape from war – not to come to a prison. We need freedom,” adding, “I’m looking for my future. I cannot study – just eat and sleep. This is not my life.” 

The migrants, cued by a demonstrator from the Stand Up To Racism group, observed a moment of silence to mark the anniversary of the end of World War I and in memory of fallen servicemen and women. 

The protest was also observed by local residents and other groups who wish to see the migrant camp moved out of the area.  

This isn’t the first time the Penally Asylum Accommodation Centre has made headlines.

Arrests were made at the camp on Tuesday following a disturbance. A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police said: “Officers attended, and five males were arrested for minor assaults. There are no suspects outstanding and enquiries are ongoing.” 

One Twitter user believes he captured the moment when illegal migrants were apprehended. 

Around 230 migrants have been sent to the former army training center but Wales’ first minister, Mark Drakeford, says the location is unsuitable and a target for right-wing nationalists. 

“It is unacceptable that the Home Office has repeatedly failed to address serious issues regarding living conditions at Penally military camp,” Drakeford noted. 

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