A man who arrived in the UK on a small boat a week ago and was being processed at Manston has died, the Home Office said on Saturday. He became ill while at the Kent detention site and was taken to hospital, but later died.
“We can confirm a person staying at Manston has died this morning [Saturday] in hospital after becoming unwell,” a Home Office spokesperson said.
“We wish to express our heartfelt condolences to all those affected. Until a postmortem examination takes place, we cannot comment in detail, but there is no evidence at this stage to suggest that this tragic death was caused by an infectious disease.
“We take the safety and welfare of those in our care extremely seriously and provide 24/7 health facilities with trained medical staff at Manston.”
The case has been referred to the coroner and to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Inquest, the charity that provides expertise on state-related deaths, is calling for an independent inquiry into the death. Deborah Coles, its director, said: “It feels as if it was only a matter of time before a death like this happened in this completely closed facility.
“Notwithstanding the concerns about conditions and the impact on the mental and physical health of people staying there, an independent investigation is needed to hold the different agencies involved to account. Maybe this death will shock people into doing something about the Manston facility.”