PRESS RELEASE: 28th Nov. 2022: REFUGEE ON HUNGER STRIKE SPEAKS OUT ABOUT ABUSE AND CONDITIONS AT A SERCO MANAGED HOTEL IN STOCKPORT
Join the Zoom tomorrow Tuesday the 29th. Hunger striker to speak out about Serco hotels and arrest by police
"Hasan" will describe how he and his wife were arrested by Greater Manchester Police, forcibly removed from the hospital and kept in police cells before being taken to another Serco managed hotel in Warrington.
He will discuss his protest and treatment during a media update on Zoom at 10am on Tuesday 29th November. It will be the 27th day of his hunger strike.
Anyone who wishes to join the Press Conference should email email@example.com and ask for the Zoom link.
A man who has now been on hunger strike for nearly a month, protesting about residents' treatment and conditions at a Serco managed hotel in Stockport, will meet journalists and politicians at a Zoom press conference at 10am on Tuesday, 29th November.
He will discuss why he took such drastic action to highlight the conditions he and many other people seeking asylum are enduring in Serco hotel accommodation throughout the North West. He will also discuss how he and his wife were arrested, taken from hospital and kept isolated in separate police cells before being taken to Warrington where they ended up outside in the cold and rain in the early hours of the morning.
In shocking scenes last week, witnessed by human rights volunteers, hospital staff and patients, "Hassan" and his wife, who has type 1 diabetes, were arrested and forcibly removed from their beds by Greater Manchester Police officers before being taken to a Salford police station where they were kept in separate cells for over six hours. The couple believe Serco staff were present when they were arrested.
At 10pm that night, they were taken to a Serco managed hotel in Warrington, despite "Hassan" having made clear that one of the conditions of stopping his hunger strike was that they should not be housed in any Serco "contingency" hotel accommodation following reports of ill-treatment by staff. They were too afraid to go to their room at the Warrington hotel because of what they had previously experienced in Stockport and asked if they could wait in the reception area for the night. Hotel staff refused to allow them to do this and they waited outside until an ambulance arrived after they called the emergency services.
Conditions at the Stockport, Warrington and other similar "contingency" hotels, where people seeking asylum are housed while they wait for their main Home Office interviews, have been highlighted by RAPAR and others. Stockport council said it shared RAPAR's concerns about the Serco managed hotel where an outbreak of scabies was only contained after an intervention by the local authority.
Attempts by residents to report health issues, verbal abuse, and nutritional concerns to Migrant Help, the charity which is supposed to relay residents' concerns to Serco, frequently came to nothing because it regularly takes hours to get through to the number provided. This problem has been reported throughout the UK.
It was the hopelessness of the situation and his belief that no-one was listening which led to "Hassan" starting a hunger strike on November 2nd.
He was taken to hospital two days later after collapsing at the hotel.
RAPAR became aware of his hunger strike on November 5th, the day after he was admitted to hospital. We are now working with others to find temporary accommodation where "Hassan" and his wife feel safe.
Anyone who wishes to join the Press Conference on zoom 10am on Tuesday November 29th should email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for the Zoom link.
For further details:
Dr Rhetta Moran 07776 264646
Kath Grant email@example.com 07865 71347