‘Break laws to support asylum seekers’ protesters say

Campaigners have called on politicians to take action, citing the deaths of Adnan Olbeh and Mercy Baguma.

‘Break laws to support asylum seekers’ protesters say

Anti-racism campaigners have taken part in a protest in Glasgow calling for the Scottish Government and Parliament to break immigration laws to protect the human rights of asylum seekers.

Organised by Stand Up To Racism groups, about 50 people took part in the action on Buchanan Street in the city centre on Sunday.

The organisers referenced the “tragic unexplained deaths of asylum seekers Adnan Olbeh and Mercy Baguma”.

Ms Baguma, 34, who was originally from Uganda and was seeking asylum in the UK, died in Glasgow last month.

Her body was found in the hallway of her flat with her son, Adriel, alone in his cot.

Mr Olbeh, 31, was found dead in a Glasgow hotel in May after asylum seekers were moved into hotels in response to coronavirus.

Protesters, holding Black Lives Matter banners and “migrants and refugees welcome here” signs, took a knee before listening to speeches.

They were asked to socially distance and wear masks.

“2020 has been a very dark year for refugees in Glasgow, having to cope with the pandemic and the further imposition of the racist hostile environment,” the organisers said in a statement.

“The Home Office has repeatedly demonstrated that not only is it unable to keep refugees safe, but actively places them in harm’s way, either directly with the hostile environment and illegal detention policies, or via callous profit-driven private contractors.

“It’s good that Nicola Sturgeon has denounced the hostile environment and described the UK asylum and immigration policy as ‘broken’.

“But we think we must now go further. Join us and demand that the Scottish Government and Parliament step in now and break the immigration laws when necessary to protect the human rights of asylum seekers.

“It must ensure no-one is left destitute without recourse to public funds or left in unsafe or unfit for human habitation accommodation.”

They also highlighted their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, adding: “Black lives must matter, from Minnesota to the Mediterranean, from Calais to Clydeside.”

A Scottish Parliament spokesman declined to comment.

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