Event: Protest Royal College of Psychiatrists covering up abuse & solitary confinement in prisons

Where: 21 Prescot Street, London E1 8BB (Aldgate, Aldgate East, Tower Hill tube)

When: Monday, 28 June 2021, 12.30–2pm

Co-sponsored by Legal Action for Women (LAW) Payday men’s network, Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA), Women of Colour Global Women’s Strike, Community Action on Prison Expansion (CAPE), Fight Racism Fight Imperialism (FRFI), Prisoner Solidarity Network (PSN)

The Royal College of Psychiatrists have given their award of “Enabling Environments” to close supervision centres (CSCs) – segregation units where prisoners are often held in solitary confinement, locked in their cell 22 or more hours per day for months or years with no independent right of appeal.

·       More than 15 days in solitary is considered torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment under the UN Nelson Mandela rules.

·       Extended time in solitary could be considered torture according to two UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture.

·       CSCs (formerly SSUs) were labelled “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” by Amnesty International.

·       CSCs are racist institutions in which approximately 50% of prisoners are Muslim despite being only 5% of the UK population.

Kevan Thakrar, who has been in solitary in a CSC for over 10 years describes it like this: “You remain locked in your cell, which is your bed, your toilet, your sink, your cupboard, your table and your chair. The window is sealed shut so it can’t be opened apart from the metal grill, and the extraction fan ventilation system doesn’t work – I assume the intent is to try and get us to die.”

Jean Thakrar, Kevan’s mum, who campaigns for her son, says: “On visits some prison officers treat you the same cruel way they treat the prisoners. My mother-in-law is 82 years old and in a wheelchair, but they ask her to stand up to be searched.”

Protests and an open letter signed by over 60 organisations and many individuals including Angela Davis, Selma James, Lord Ramsbotham and Benjamin Zephaniah, forced Dr. Adrian James, RCP president to respond — but he wrote with little more than platitudes about “equality and diversity”.

We have to disrupt the RCP’s work and discredit it publicly until this professional body stops covering up for institutional racism and abuse. We’ll make noise and make ourselves heard on behalf of all the prisoners who have no voice outside prison walls. Bring something to make a lot of noise!

·       Please share this call on  , and share this video with your networks.

·       See press coverage: Psychiatrists are covering up for abuse in prisons andCampaigners demand end to ‘cruel and inhumane’ prison segregation units

·       See webinar Solitary Confinement is a Crime with international speakers including survivors of solitary confinement.

If you can’t join the protest on the day please follow @PaydayRTK for tweets to target Dr. Adrian James @DrAdrianJames and The Royal College of Psychiatrists @rcpsych demanding they stop covering up for abuse of prisoners.

Legal Action for Women 

Women of Colour Global Women’s Strike

  Payday men’s network/Refusing to Kill