More than 100 people attended a Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees public meeting last week to discuss the suicide of the Serykh family.
Serguei Serykh, Tatiana Serykh and Stepan, Tatiana’s son, jumped from a 15th floor window on Glasgow’s Red Road estate earlier this month. All three were seeking asylum.
Mohammad Asif, a refugee and chair of the Scottish Afghan Society, said, “In the ten years since I arrived and was housed in the Red Road flats, little has changed for asylum seekers.
“Given the conditions in which they are forced to live, no wonder some feel suicidal.”
Two of the main speakers were Jean Donachie and Noreen Real, who jointly won the Evening Times Woman of the Year award in 2008.
They were chosen by readers for their work organising local residents in the Kingsway High Flats to oppose the dawn raid arrests on asylum seeking families.
Noreen recalled, “I visited my neighbours who were taken to Dungavel detention centre and their eight year old boy asked me ‘Aunty Noreen, why am I in prison? What have I done wrong?’ I told him it’s the British government that is wrong.”
Tommy Sheridan, a TUSC election candidate, spoke of the need to show the hand of friendship to those who have fled regimes that use torture.
Glasgow City Council supports a call for a fatal accident enquiry into the deaths of the Serykh family, backed by Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees, Positive Action in Housing and a number of individual politicians.
Some 30 supporters of Cambridge Migrant Solidarity joined a protest at the Oakington Immigration Detention Centre last Sunday to show concern at the recent death of a detainee there.
Fellow inmates claim that, despite his pleas for help, a 40 year old Kenyan man was not given medical assistance after he suffered a suspected heart attack.
Following his death, there is reported to have been a day-long protest by 180 other detainees who occupied the detention centre courtyard.
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