Probe launched into death of Chinese grandfather at detention centre

Mr Xi Biau Huang died in September 2017 while being detained for two weeks at Dungavel detention centre.

Probe launched into death of Chinese man at Dungavel detention centre in South Lanarkshire Positive Action in Scotland

An inquiry into the death of a Chinese man at a South Lanarkshire detention facility has been launched.

Mr Xi Biau Huang, 54, died on September 19, 2017, while detained for two weeks at Dungavel detention centre.

He landed in the immigration facility after the company he worked for shut down and he lost his job – after living in Liverpool for 13 years on a work permit.

The husband, father and grandfather-of-three “persistently complained of feeling unwell” before dying of a heart attack, but immigrant support charity Positive Action in Housing claim he was never taken to hospital during his detention.

At the time of his death, the charity also raised questions about how Mr Huang died inside Dungavel, but the Home Office “refused to provide details”.

A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into his death began at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Monday, August 15.

“It has been five years since we first raised questions about Mr Huang and the circumstances of his death,” said Robina Qureshi, chief executive of Positive Action in Housing.

She continued: “Immigrants who have committed no crime should not be detained like criminals. Would he still be alive had he not been detained and been able to freely attend hospital to see a specialist with the support of his family?” 

Plans were announced to close Dungavel at the end of 2017, with a short-term holding centre to be built in Paisley.

However, Renfrewshire Council’s planning board firmly rejected the application and the Home Office confirmed that Dungavel would remain open.

The facility is operated by Geo Group UK Ltd, and holds up to 249 detainees.

Med-Co Secure Healthcare Services provides physical healthcare, mental healthcare and substance misuse services, with no inpatient unit on site.

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