‘We were left on the road’: Stranded asylum seekers in London share their experiences | Immigration and asylum

People brought in from the Manston Immigration Hold Center say they were disappointed to be dropped off at Central late at night Londonwithout accommodation, suitable clothing or money.

Amid growing controversy over the situation, A large number of people were kicked out by the bus of camps suddenly overcrowdedthe Home Office insists it will only release asylum seekers who tell officials they have family or friends who can stay.

However, the two Afghan natives told The Guardian they were brought to London without a clear idea of ​​where they could stay. It describes a scene of hurried confusion when escorted to a bus.

Their words could be released hours after the Home Secretary. Suela Bravermanvisited a center near Ramsgate on Thursday and was asked to consider her position on the situation at the camp.

Lawyers Representing Charities detention measures and the woman detained in Manston sent an urgent pre-action letter to the Home Office.

In a further development, Braverman faces demands from London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Initiate an emergency review Dozens of people were abandoned in the capital.

A young asylum seeker from Afghanistan was among a group of 11 people left in the streets outside Victoria Station on Tuesday night. home office In an interview before leaving camp, he told staff he had no relatives or acquaintances in the UK.

“I was asked if I had any friends or family, and I said I had none in England,” he said. He was then asked by the authorities which city he wanted to go to, and he said he wanted to go to London, provided that accommodation would be provided.

A group of immigrants were taken from Kent and stranded at London’s Victoria Station. Photo: Danial Abbas

He was one of a group of about 40 people who were taken by bus to central London on Tuesday. Most of them were able to stay with their families, but some were left on the street outside the station, wearing flip-flops and blankets to keep them warm. Under One Skydelivers food to homeless people on the streets of central London.

The young man, who requested anonymity, said he asked the bus driver when he arrived at Victoria station where he should go. “I thought there would be a hotel for us. He said: ‘Go where you want to go, it’s not my responsibility.’ said. He said: “I can do nothing for you”.

The asylum seeker said he was 15 years old, but was registered as 20 years old after being age-tested by the Home Office during his 25-day stay at the immigration center in Manston. .

“I was so scared. “There were a lot of people who didn’t,” he said.

Under One Sky volunteers contacted the Home Office and the 11 asylum seekers with no place to stay were later picked up by taxi and taken to a hotel in Norwich.

He did not have a mobile phone and was unable to contact his family for about a month after leaving France and sailing to England because Home Office officials did not return his belongings before he left the camp. He said he thought his parents would be very worried about him.

A Home Office spokesperson said: Any other suggestions are wrong. Upon notification we worked quickly to find private accommodation and now they are supported. ”

But another asylum seeker, also from Afghanistan, said about 15 people were on board a bus sent from Manston to London on Saturday night, and they too had nowhere to stay.

He thinks some asylum seekers may have gotten confused during the rush to move people out of Manston. , I was asked if I had family or friends who could stay with me.

“I said I had a phone number for a friend in London. Early Saturday morning they came to my tent, called my wristband number and told me to catch a bus to London.” He said. There was no interpreter on hand when people boarded the bus, and some people were asking if they would be taken to the hotel. Maybe I didn’t understand,” said the asylum seeker.

A 20-year-old former police officer who requested anonymity worked with international forces in Afghanistan before the Taliban returned to power. He said he left the country last year after his parents were killed by the Taliban. .

“I was shocked to be left without help. I was cold. I was hungry and wondering how I was going to sort it out,” he said. He did not have a working phone and asked his bystanders to help him call his friend. His friend picked him up.He said about 15 people on the bus had nowhere to go and were planning to spend the night at his coach station in Victoria.

During his time there, Manston’s situation was very difficult. “There were about 170 or he 180 people sleeping in one tent. There were no beds, we slept on the floor,” he said. He and many others in his tent had picked up an itchy rash in the days before he took the bus to London. He said this may have been the result of poor sanitary conditions in the camp.

“There were 3 toilets and they were very dirty. There were 2 showers, but 1 was not working and it was difficult to take a shower because there were so many people. There was no laundry and I wore it for a week and a half. I couldn’t wash my clothes.Most people had severe itching on their bodies.”

He currently sleeps on the floor in a room rented by a friend at home. “I’m happy to be in England. I feel safe here, but I don’t know how long I’ll be able to live on my friend’s floor,” he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/nov/03/we-were-left-by-the-road-asylum-seekers-stranded-in-london-describe-experience ‘We were left on the road’: Stranded asylum seekers in London share their experiences | Immigration and asylum

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