Men take legal action against Home Office over Glasgow hotel stabbings | Immigration and asylum
Two asylum seekers caught in a mass stabbing at a hotel in Glasgow have filed a high court complaint against the Home Office and their accommodation provider, the Guardian has learned.
The men, one of whom said he raised concerns about the attacker with hotel management the day before the stabbing, are also calling for an independent investigation.
On June 26, 2020, Badreddin Abadlla Adam, a 28-year-old Sudanese asylum seeker, stabbed six people, including a police officer, at the Park Inn hotel in Glasgow before police shot him dead.
One of the two asylum seekers now presenting a challenge lost his spleen in the attack and is therefore on lifelong treatment. His asylum application was rejected in July this year and he is appealing the decision.
The other had supported Adam as he watched his mental health deteriorate after being moved, along with 320 other asylum seekers, from self-contained accommodation to hotels at the start of the pandemic.
The day before the attack, Adam told her he wanted to stab people, he said. The claimant reported this to hotel management and said he thought the threat was credible. The next day he was woken up by the sound of the fire alarm and when he opened his bedroom door he saw people lying on the floor in pools of blood. This man is awaiting a decision on his asylum application.
Both men say they do not blame Adam for the attack as his mental health had declined sharply. But they have expressed serious concerns about alleged misconduct by the Home Office and property contractor Mears.
Evidence given to the high court shows how tensions at the Park Inn hotel built up before the attack.
Many asylum seekers experienced a deterioration in their mental health. Some said they felt dehumanized by their treatment and said that if they raised concerns about mental health they were told to ‘open the window’ or ‘take an orange’ while others were done. say to go back to their country of origin if they didn’t like Britain.
Witnesses to the attack said they were traumatized and some had had nightmares, PTSD and flashbacks. The asylum seeker who was stabbed said he was now afraid to come out and felt abandoned by the Home Office and Mears. The second asylum seeker said they were made to feel like criminals when questioned by the police.
He told the Guardian: “I would like to see asylum seekers get better treatment instead of being prisoners in hotels. I really don’t blame Badreddin for what he did, he was in really bad shape. I blame the Home Office and I blame Mears. They didn’t listen enough. »
Sheroy Zaq, lawyers for Duncan Lewis, who is taking the High Court challenge, said: ‘Vulnerable people continue to die while in the care of the Home Secretary and his associated private contractors, and this will continue probably unless and until lessons are learned. All the plaintiffs are looking for, which should not be controversial, is for a legal investigation to take place into such tragedies, contrary to what appears to have happened to date; the Home Secretary grading her own homework through an internal, unpublished exam.
Dylan Fotoohi, of Refugees For Justice, a group founded after the attack and an interested party in the case, said: “Thousands of people have suffered physical and psychological harm in these hotels. This tragedy was avoidable. The underlying cause is the dysfunctional and irresponsible management of accommodation for asylum seekers. An independent investigation is needed so that lessons can be learned.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “Following the incident at the Park Inn Hotel, we have commissioned an internal review to assess the circumstances, as per routine procedure, but a Scottish inquiry into the fatal incident is still ongoing. We take the well-being of the people in our care very seriously. »
Deputy Chief Constable of Police Scotland Steve Johnson said: “The circumstances are being independently investigated by the Police Investigation and Review Commissioner at the direction of the Lord Advocate, we are not therefore unable to comment further.”
Mears was approached for comment.