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Women Against Rape protest disrupts Home Secretry’s visit to summit on sexual violence

17:08 13 June 2014

Women protest at ExCel's global summit on sexual violence in war. Picture: Alex Brew

Women protest at ExCel's global summit on sexual violence in war. Picture: Alex Brew

Alex Brew

Rape victims were among women protesting at the Government-sponsored Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in conflict zones which was being staged at east London’s ExCel centre.

Women Against Rape demo at summit where Home Secretary Theresa May was about to speak. Picture: Alex BrewWomen Against Rape demo at summit where Home Secretary Theresa May was about to speak. Picture: Alex Brew

The women who are campaigning to close down refugee detention centres accused the government of “hypocrisy” over victims seeking refuge who are refused asylum before being sent back to the war zones they fled from.

Some 20 protesters—including eight asylum seekers—joined the demo organised by Women Against Rape pressure group at the four-day summit which ended today.

“The Summit claimed to support ‘courageous survivors’ while women are detained and abused when they arrive in the UK,” said protester Sian Evans. “Some have died in detention after having been refused health care, while others who were deported were later raped or disappeared.”

Three women interrupted a fringe event which Home Secretary Theresa May was due to speak at yesterday when they unfolded a banner and were frogmarched out.

But one protester managed to hand a leaflet to Angelina Jolie, who co-chaired the summit with Foreign Secretary William Hague, and to Brad Pitt who also attended.

They invited the film celebrities to visit Yarl’s Wood detention centre on Sunday, the International Day to Close Down Detention Centres, to hear from victims about the treatment they’re getting. Jolie told them she knew about Yarl’s Wood.

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