Sunday, 7 March 2010

3 bodies found at Red Road flats

Nobody yet knows who the 3 dead bodies found at the foot of one of the Red Road flats in Petershill Drive this morning belong to. Neither do we know if they jumped or were pushed. We can only speculate and the most obvious answer is that the 2 men and 1 woman were asylum seekers who committed suicide because they couldn't face the fact that they were set to become destitute or had been told by their solicitors that there were no grounds on which to continue their claim.

This particular tower block is (I think) all either asylum seekers awaiting decisions or refugees (with leave to remain) in temporary furnished housing awaiting an offer of a permanent flat.

I know many asylum seekers so utterly terrified of returning to their countries that they tell me they will take their own lives if forced to return. And I know of one who I've spoken about on this blog before (*Fraser) who was completely destitute for several months. And I do mean "completely". No money, no vouchers, no roof over his head, no entitlement to anything. He now has refugee status and ironically enough moved into his temporary furnished flat in this very block yesterday!

He told me recently that had it not been for the British Red Cross in Glasgow and the people in my office keeping him going and willing him to get through it, he would not have survived. I say that simply to demonstrate that these are among the circumstances that might make an asylum seeker think of taking his or her own life.

Whoever these poor souls turn out to be my heart goes out to them and their families. If they are indeed asylum seekers, my heart goes out to the whole of the asylum seeking community in Glasgow because they will ALL be feeling it. They have to live with their friends regularly disappearing without trace and their hearts sink each time someone they know goes through the very thing they dread every minute of every day. This will be horrific for them because it's what many of them believe is the only option when time runs out.

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