A family of asylum seekers who were racially harassed after
being dispersed from London to a Glasgow housing estate have failed
to win damages from the Home Office.
Turkish Kurd Mehmet Gezer arrived in the UK with his daughter in
September 2000 to join his sons. His wife and youngest son joined
them later that month, and one year later they were moved to
Glasgow under the national dispersal scheme.
On the city’s Toryglen Estate they faced hostility and
intimidation and were too frightened to leave their flat, said Mr
Justice Moses at the High Court.
After their home was attacked at the end of October, the family
returned to London but were told by the National Asylum Support
Service (Nass) to go back. When they refused they were denied food
vouchers until 30 January 2002, and it was not until March 2002
that they were allowed to stay in London and given financial
The judge said that, although the treatment the family suffered
“brings shame upon any country which holds itself out as a safe
haven against persecution”, it did not mean Nass should have
foreseen the harassment or that it amounted to a “failure to
provide adequate protection against (inhuman or degrading)
Gezer had claimed compensation from the Home Office under the
Human Rights Act 1998.
A spokesperson for Glasgow Council said relations between asylum
seekers and local communities had “improved considerably” since the
Gezer family arrived in Glasgow.