Dozens of demonstrators gathered yesterday outside the first private detention centre for asylum seekers in Scotland, which is due to open this morning. More than 100 people, including members of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, local church groups, schools and trade unions, held a vigil outside the Dungavel Detention Centre, in South Lanarkshire, calling for it to be closed. The former prison, which can house up to 150 people, will be run as a private business, by the Premier Custodial Group - part of Wackenhut Corporate Corrections - which runs other centres around the world. Mark Brown, secretary of the Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees, told the BBC: "We don't believe it is right to detain asylum seekers. They are people who are being criminalised for seeking refuge." He added that the opening was particularly insensitive at a time when tensions over asylum issues have reached dangerous levels in Glasgow following the killing of a 22-year-old Kurdish refugee last month.
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