Executive defends transfer of high profile asylum seekers before MSPs’ visit

High profile asylum seekers have been moved away from Dungavel
Detention Centre only days before a formal visit by a cross-party
group of MSPs and voluntary organisations, writes Reg

Dungavel, a former prison converted into a detention centre for
148 failed asylum seekers last year, was the scene of a hunger
strike by 40 people protesting against conditions and the length of
time taken to process their applications and appeals. The strike
lasted only lasted a few days, but it attracted the concern of MSPs
and voluntary groups.

The Scottish parliament’s cross-party group on refugees
and asylum seekers had asked to meet with 10 high profile asylum
seekers at Dungavel. Of these, the Garza’s, a Romano family
with a disabled child, a Nigerian, Dotun Adeosun, and Romanov
Votslov, a young Russian in his twenties who had recently tried to
commit suicide by cutting his wrists, have all been removed from

Shona Robinson, convenor of the cross-party group of MSPs, said:
“I am very concerned when some of these people are disappearing,
and nobody can get any information about them.”

Sally Daghlian, director of the Scottish Refugee Council, said:
“Britain continues to detain more asylum seekers for longer with
less scrutiny than any other European country. It is not surprising
if people who are detained indefinitely take desperate measures to
highlight their situation.”

Last week, home office minister Angela Eagle was forced into a
public defence of Dungavel, saying that groups claiming that there
were delays in the detention of asylum seekers there, were
exaggerating. The home office’s own figures show that 28 per
cent of those in UK detention centres are there for more than four

A spokesperson for the home office declined to comment on
individual cases but added: “Detention is not entered into lightly.
We try to ensure it is used mainly to facilitate removal from the
country and for as short a time as possible.”




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