Paul Smith's article on the health of asylum seekers ('Abroad consensus', news focus, 27 September) was a welcome window on a hidden problem.

But he did not mention the plight of asylum seekers held in prison.

Having faced trauma and in some cases torture, they are - without being convicted of any crime - held with fewer rights than convicted criminals. They have no release date to look forward to, are subject to prison discipline, are without education facilities and have worse medical facilities than those you describe.

Small wonder that some have been driven to attempt suicide.

This is a complete outrage: they should be released immediately.

Frances Kelly Unison steward Manchester