Calls for action following deaths of Mercy Beguma in Glasgow and Abdullah Alhabib in Manchester

Mercy Baguma, a Govan mother originally from Uganda, was found dead in her flat last Saturday (22 August 2020) beside her starving baby causing public outcry across Britain.

The cause of death is still unknown. Mercy Bagama lost her job after her limited leave to remain expired and she was no longer allowed to work. After living in extreme poverty, she claimed asylum. She was forced to rely on food from friends and charitable organisations.

Responding to the tragedy, Glasgow No Evictions Campaign stated, “As the Home Office death toll continues to rise, Mears have announced that they will continue using hotels to house asylum seekers until at least the New Year and have given no indication of when financial support with be reinstated. This is extremely worrying and prolongs the period of uncertainty for many vulnerable people in Glasgow and beyond. We will continue to campaign for our demands to be met.”

The death of Mercy Baguma follows the death of Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah Alhabib earlier this month (6 August 2020) who was found dead in a Hotel Room in Manchester which he had been placed in by the Home Office.

Alhabib was fleeing war-torn Yemen and arrived at Dover on a flimsy boat on 11 June seeking asylum. Upon arrival, Alhabib and his fellow passengers were detained at Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre for three days before taking them to a hotel in Manchester.

Glasgow YCL Branch released the following statement on 27 August 2020 in response to the unfolding crisis, “The deaths of asylum seekers Mercy Beguma and Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah Alhabib are a tragic condemnation of the current system that allows people to be left in absolute poverty. Mercy is one of many people in our city to have fallen victim to the heartless actions of the home office which show no regard for the individual lives they affect. Glasgow as a city has a long history of caring for its migrant and refugee communities. From European Jews seeking refuge here almost a century ago, to Kosovans fleeing civil war in the 90s.”

Glasgow has opened its arms to people from across the world and provided them with a home. We as a community must come together to support these people who contribute so much to our city and make it the vibrant, diverse place it is today. We must put pressure on the government to change this cruel system that has failed Mercy and so many others like her.

The Glasgow Branch of the YCL called for the city’s youth to “Get involved with the No Evictions campaign to fight back against these cruel measures which are killing people like Mercy and Abdullah.”

Challenge News Desk

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