Where on earth do I start with this story without appearing to be too controversial, I have no idea but I will present the facts and see where we go from there.
Six asylum seekers who were housed at the Napier Barracks in Kent have won a case in the High Court where Justice Linden found that the Home Office had acted unlawfully when deciding the former Army barracks was suitable accommodation for hundreds of asylum seekers.
It seems the men objected to the barracks style dormitory with 28 people per block and two toilets and showers shared between all of them and only being allowed out for two hours a day to go the beach, especially as some of the inmates had symptoms of Covid-19 although the dormitory had been previously thought to be adequate for members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
The Home Office defended the barracks as being safe, warm, secure and with three nutritious meals served a day and all paid for by the British taxpayer but the asylum seekers layers said the squalid barracks was a breach of their human rights and could amount to false imprisonment.
Following a five day hunger strike, one of the asylum seekers was relocated to a London hotel with others following soon after whilst their claims for asylum were being assessed.
Following the case Justice Linden said, “Whether on the basis of the issues of Covid or fire safety taken in isolation, or looking at the cumulative effect of the decision-making about, and the conditions in, the barracks, I do not accept that the accommodation there ensured a standard of living which was adequate for the health of the claimants.”
The Home Office and the six men must now agree on damages however lawyers acting on behalf of the men were unable to comment as to how much compensation they will be seeking but said they expect the amount to be modest.
Which leaves us where, is this a terrible case of injustice metered out to these poor asylum seekers who have walked from as far away as Syria and Iran, distances of somewhere around 3898 miles and a journey passing through Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, France and finally Great Britain.
There was also a suggestion that there should not be camps for asylum seekers and they should be accommodated in hotels, but with 4000 coming to this country so far this year this would incur considerable expense especially as they would all demand a room of their own.
Without wishing to appear too flippant, one assumes that having travelled such a distance through so many countries and choosing not to stop at any of them along the way, perhaps their expectations of what this country had to offer may have been a little high as there are plenty of people already living in this country who would be only too happy to have a roof over their head and three square meals provided free on a daily basis.
In an ideal world we would all be living at the Ritz but we don’t live in an ideal world.