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Baroness Kennedy heads private inquiry into Park Inn tragedy

 

Home Office refused to hold public probe

A campaign group has launched a private, independent inquiry into the treatment of asylum seekrs in Scotland.

Refugees for Justice announced Baroness Helena Kennedy will lead the review.

It will look at at whether there were flaws in the care and treatment of asylum seekers in areas such as housing and mental health support.

The group has been asking the Home Office to launch a public inquiry after the stabbing of six people at the Park Inn, Glasgow, in 2020.

As it is a private inquiry, Baroness Kennedy will not be able to force witnesses to give evidence.

Badreddin Abdalla Adam - a Sudanese asylum seeker - was shot dead by police after he stabbed six people in the Park Inn hotel, including three other asylum seekers, a police officer and two members of hotel staff.

He had been struggling with his mental health during lockdown at the hotel and had called the Home Office and other organisations more than 70 times before the attack.

Baroness Kennedy said: "As we know a tragedy took place. Someone committed suicide, another person had a psychotic episode and injured people and was shot by police.

"The question is were there flaws in the care of those people and whether very bad decisions were made about the housing and was there any question of monetary benefit in the minds of those who made the decisions to move people to those hotels?"

She added: "If the Home Office is not prepared to self scrutinise publicly then others will have to do it.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: "Since this horrific incident we have undertaken a number of significant changes to keep asylum seekers safe, including how we, our contractors and charities spot vulnerable individuals and provide them with wrap-around support and appropriate accommodation.

"The use of hotels is unacceptable and we are working hard to find appropriate accommodation for asylum seekers but local authorities must do all they can to help house people permanently," they added.

 

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