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Campaigners call for inquiry after Glasgow stabbings

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Warnings had been aired by charities and camapigners leading up to the attack

Refugee charities and campaigners are calling for an inquiry into asylum seekers’ accommodation following last week’s stabbings in Glasgow.

Six people were stabbed by Badreddin Abadlla Adam, who was shot dead by police in the incident at the Park Inn hotel in West George Street on Friday.

Asylum seekers had been moved there in response to the coronavirus pandemic and now campaigners are calling for an independent inquiry into how asylum seekers are housed in the city.

It comes as the Scottish government itself called for a “thorough investigation” into the treatment of asylum seekers by the Home Office during the coronavirus lockdown.

Claims have emerged that staff at the Park Inn hotel were told of concerns about 28-year-old Badreddin Abedlla Adam’s mental health the night before he carried out his attack.

The Park Inn was one of six hotels in Glasgow where an estimated 380 asylum seekers were moved en masse from their individual accommodation by the private housing provider Mears at the start of the lockdown, and is thought to have been the only one to house women.

Positive Action in Housing director Robina Qureshi said: "We didn't know the full extent until the last few days. The fact that people didn't have access to water - they were drinking tap water from the toilets, that people were terrified of breathing air - they talked about the presence of dirty air conditioning and the virus transmitting through it, and windows not opening so there was no clean air.

"And they were talking about no social distancing in the hotel. This is the level of mental pressure they were under."

Public sector maintenance contractor Mears took over the contract to house asylum seekers in Glasgow following controversy about its predecessor Serco.

Serco had embarked on a campaign of changing locks on flats occupied by asylum seekers whose leave to remain in the UK had been refused.

A spokesman for Mears said it was providing access to additional counselling support and to essential items such as clothing.

“We wish to thank our staff, the police and NHS, and the charities and support groups who have assisted with the collective and significant response.

"We are assisting the police with their investigation."

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The minister for immigration compliance and the courts is due to meet with the Scottish Government and is keen to discuss how we can build on our existing accommodation offer across Scotland for supported asylum seekers.”



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