Friends and family of Kevan Thakrar came together today to demonstrate in front of the Ministry of Justice in what is another escalation in the fight for justice for Kevan.
Kevan Thakrar is a prisoner that had been held in long-term solitary confinement in the Close Supervision Centre (CSC) system of high security prisons. His move to the CSC was a repressive reaction to him resisting racist violence against himself and his brother a decade before.
Kevan has now been moved from the CSC to the segregation unit (seg) at HMP Full Sutton. He has been placed in a dirty punishment cell with no electricity, toilet seat or lid. Kevan is facing targeted retaliation due to a white supremacist prison system that tries to silence and placate anyone expressing dissent. – especially Muslim men of colour.
The demonstration drew attention to the harsh measure that HMP Full Sutton has taken to repress Kevan. HMP Full Sutton has falsely accused Kev of threatening officers as a justification for moving him to segregation on 7th April. He was placed on what is known as a “backwall lock”. This means that Kev had to stand with his back against the wall of his cell when at least four officers enter his cell, which was triggering for his PTSD. He was subsequently moved to the very same cell where he was attacked by guards whilst praying in 2015.
Kevan Thakrar has been held captive by HMP for 13 years. In 2008, at the age of 20, Kevan began a life sentence with a minimum term of 35 years, under the racist “joint enterprise” laws. Kevan has spent 11 years in Closed Supervision Centres (CSCs). CSCs are, in Kev’s own words, “the English version of American supermax prisons, indefinite solitary confinement within the most oppressive and brutal environment found in this country. Psychological warfare is used upon its victims on a constant basis, with frequent physical attacks supplementing the arbitrary punishment.”
Jac Abe, one of the protestors, explains why they attended: “We are demanding that Kevan is immediately transferred out of HMP Full Sutton to HMP Whitmoor. We demand an end to Closed Supervision Centres (CSCs) and the inhumane use of solitary confinement. We also know that if the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is passed it will mean more people in Kev’s situation, because the bill would authorise younger people getting life sentences and make it harder to get parole.”