Covid19: Immigration authorities release 700 detainees including convicted criminals
More than 700 detainees have been released from UK immigration centres, it has been revealed.
Official figures showed there were some 1,225 people in detention centres on 1 January and 368 at the latest count - a reduction of almost three-quarters.
In March, the immigration charity Detention Action demanded that detainees with health conditions be released from centres over fears they were at risk of contracting coronavirus.
Their bid was thrown out by the High Court but the charity has now launched a campaign to release all detainees, 'to prevent serious harm and loss of life.'
Detention Action said there were now 368 detainees being held in detention centres, with more than 700 released between 16 March and 21 April.
Detention Action claims a 'significant proportion' of the roughly 1,500 people previously in immigration detention across the UK have serious underlying health conditions which leave them facing 'a significant risk of serious harm or death'.