Glasgow attacker described as ‘quiet, polite, decent guy’ by asylum seekers
Badreddin Abadlla Adam, 28, from Sudan, was shot dead by officers after six people – including 42-year-old police constable David Whyte – were injured in the incident on Friday at the Park Inn Hotel on West George Street.The other five people – aged 17, 18, 20, 38 and 53 – all remain in hospital as of the latest update on Saturday, with one in a critical condition.On Monday one of the asylum seekers who was staying at the hotel spoke out about the conditions there and what he had been told of the attacker.Andrew said: “Recently we were moved from the Park Inn Hotel to the Hallmark Hotel because of the incident that happened on Friday which has been traumatic for every single asylum seeker.“One way or the other we have been affected mentally, physically and otherwise.“I (was not) around when it took place but I happened to gather some information from my other asylum seekers.“They described him as a quiet and polite and decent guy – they were surprised that he acted the way he acted.“There must be something that pushed him to behave in that ugly manner which honestly I strongly condemned because it is abnormal, but definitely something must have pushed that guy into that level of disastrous act.”Mohammad Asif, who also attended Monday’s press conference organised by Positive Action in Housing (PAIH), added that two asylum seekers had been out begging at the end of the street in the time before the incident and were then not allowed to return to their accommodation.
PAIH is now pushing for an independent investigation into the procurement process after Friday’s events.
It said asylum seekers in Glasgow had been treated like “Amazon parcels” during the coronavirus pandemic.
Director Robina Qureshi said: “You and I know that staying inside a house is difficult enough through the pandemic.
“But staying in a hotel with four walls and not being able to socially distance, not being able to clean your own environment, not being able to wash your own clothes, not able to cook your own food – all of this conspires to create mental pressure on a human being.
“People that Mears took and the Home Office uprooted in March at the height of the lockdown were vulnerable people.
“They were not Amazon parcels, they were human beings with feelings and thoughts and fears, and they were terrified of what was happening next and why they were put into these hotels.”
She added: “Some have told us directly they were told they were going into long-term accommodation, but were put into two vans (four or five to a van), and then parcelled off into hotels all over the city, not just jeopardising the asylum seekers, but also jeopardising the public health of the city of Glasgow.
“This was not a movie. This was a real thing. And they were very frightened people who have been traumatised on the journey from being tortured.”
Among concerns raised by the charity are claims the asylum seekers are no longer receiving their allocated £5.39 a day.
Ms Qureshi said they had been told this was for concern for “their safety in case to catch a virus from the coins”.
One asylum seeker, Andrew, was staying at the Park Inn Hotel for two months but has since been moved to the Hallmark Hotel after Friday’s incident.
He said: “We don’t have the opportunity to have money to take care of ourselves.
“They water we are drinking, when we were in the Park Inn hotel, was from the tap water inside the toilet.”
Alison Thewliss MP said: “The Home Office must take responsibility for the wellbeing of all asylum seekers currently being accommodated in hotels in Glasgow.
“Support payments must be reinstated immediately.”
Mears referred press inquiries on the issue to the Home Office.
A Home Office spokesman said: “Throughout this pandemic, we have prioritised providing asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute with free and safe accommodation that enables public health guidance to be followed as well as access to healthcare services.
“Cash allowances are not provided as their essential living needs and costs are being met by the accommodation provider.”