UK police and UK Residence Secretary James Cleverly announced Tuesday the loss of life of an asylum seeker on board the Bibby Stockholm, a barge housing asylum seekers on the south coast of England. Police stated they had been alerted to a sudden loss of life on the boat and the coroner is now investigating the circumstances of the fatality. The BBC and different information shops are reporting that, in line with their sources, the loss of life was a suicide. JURIST has not been in a position to independently confirm these studies.
Whereas the entire circumstances of the loss of life will not be but recognized, refugee rights organizations have expressed profound apprehensions over the concern and isolation skilled by these on board the Bibby Stockholm. Director of Care4Calais Steve Smith said in a series of posts on X (previously Twitter) that the boys on board the barge “are being separated from the remainder of society.” He continued to say:
[We have] witnessed a severe deterioration of individuals’s psychological well being. Now we have recurrently been reporting suicidal intentions amongst residents and no motion is taken…It’s time our political leaders handled them as human beings, listened to the trauma they’ve skilled and provided them sanctuary.
Earlier than arriving in UK waters, the Bibby Stockholm was used to accommodate asylum seekers in Rotterdam in 2005. Afterwards it was used to accommodate building staff on numerous offshore tasks. It was brought to the UK earlier this yr in a controversial transfer by the federal government and started housing asylum seekers in August. Nonetheless, just some days later, they needed to be evacuated because of a legionella scare.
On the time, Amnesty Worldwide UK said that the barge was “an totally shameful option to home individuals who’ve fled terror, battle and persecution.” The Fireplace Brigades Union additionally expressed concerns over the security of the construction. In October, asylum seekers had been returned to the barge and the federal government introduced new procedures for individuals who refused to go, involving the revocation of assist from the Residence Workplace.
Human rights teams within the UK have continued to precise their outrage at the usage of the barge to accommodate asylum seekers, citing issues over the residing situations and the welfare of susceptible folks in search of refuge. Upon going again to the barge, one asylum seeker advised the Guardian, “I’m anxious and afraid. I don’t need to go to the barge however I don’t have the braveness to disobey. I’m actually helpless. I don’t know what’s ready for me.” They continued, “We really feel like pawns of their recreation, guinea pigs of their experiments. What experiment will they enact on us subsequent? What’s on the finish of this devastating and loopy wait? Will I have the ability to save my life and my household?”