Independent inquiry into deaths of asylum seekers during pandemic

Six people were stabbed at the Park Inn hotel in Glasgow.

Independent inquiry into deaths of asylum seekers in Glasgow during pandemic SNS Group
There are calls for a statutory inquiry to be set up by the UK Government.

An independent inquiry into the events leading to the deaths of two asylum-seekers in Glasgow is set to be launched.

It comes on the two year anniversary of the stabbings at the Park Inn Hotel during the coronavirus pandemic.

Six people were stabbed including police constable David Whyte during the incident.

Badreddin Abadlla Adam, a 28-year-old from Sudan, was shot dead by police having carried out the attack.

The inquiry, being led by Baroness Helena Kennedy, will look into the events which resulted in the deaths of Adam, as well as that of another asylum-seeker.

A month before the attack was carried out by Adam in June 2020, Adnan Elbi took his own life having been moved into MacLays Guest House.

Glasgow-based campaign group, Refugees for Justice, had called for the inquiry to be established.

The group said that the separate incidents involving Abdalla Adam and Elbi, which happened a few weeks apart, had a “common root”.

It has been critical of the Home Office and housing contractor, Mears Group, over decisions taken to move refugees during the pandemic.

Dylan Fotoohi, director of the group, said: “We thank Baroness Helena Kennedy for heeding our call for an independent investigation into the events that resulted in the deaths of two asylum-seekers during lockdown – one by suicide; one shot dead by police after suffering a mental health crisis.

“These were two separate, tragic, incidents, which happened a few weeks apart in 2020, but we believe they had a common root – which was the decision by the Home Office and its housing contractor Mears Group, to disregard the needs of refugees by forcing them out of their homes and into hotel rooms during the pandemic, with no safeguarding or support.”

Refugees for Justice has urged the UK Government to set up a statutory inquiry with the powers to compel witnesses and force disclosure of evidence.

It is also supporting a High Court legal challenge being brought by one of the Park Inn stabbing victims in calling for a public inquiry.

The case will be heard in London next week.