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Calls for public inquiry into Home Office's asylum system and its effects on refugees in Scotland

CAMPAIGNERS in Glasgow increased pressure on the Home Office today for an independent public inquiry into the asylum system and the horrific effects it is having on refugees in Scotland.

The Home Office is being called on to investigate contractors in Scotland and overhaul the current system of care for those coming into Britain. 

Housing contractor Mears removed hundreds of Glasgow’s asylum-seekers from their homes in April and placed them in crowded hotels without financial assistance. 

During this time, two people under Mears’s care have died — including one Sudanese man who was shot by police in Glasgow following a knife attack which left six people injured. 

This incident followed the death of 30-year-old Syrian Adnan Olbeh, who was found dead in a Glasgow hotel in May. 

While the refugee community and their support networks remain in shock, campaigners say action must be taken to uncover why these tragic events took place. 

Writing in The Sunday Times, Scottish Refugee Council’s Sabir Zazai said: “This cannot go on. There must be a full public inquiry into the circumstances which led to people being forced into long-term stay in hotels without financial support.

“We must stop treating people like pieces on a chessboard and instead ensure dignity, compassion and rights are put at the heart of the UK asylum system.”

A new group, Refugees for Justice, was also launched last week, setting out a manifesto to better protect those who travel to Britain — and end the horrific conditions currently on show. 

Academic and activist Alison Phipps wrote her support of the plans in the Sunday National, calling for the groups suggestions, including for a public inquiry, to be heeded. 

She added: “Ultimately the system has to change to prevent endangering more lives.”

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