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"I need a miracle" - Asylum Seeker Abandoned in Squalid Huddersfield Property

A councillor is criticising G4S for providing the "filthy" house.

A vulnerable asylum seeker says he was “abandoned” in a filthy house in Huddersfield.

Kaiwan Abbasi, who is appealing for asylum in the UK after fleeing his home in Iran, was transferred from Bradford.

But after entering a squalid house on the outskirts of the town centre he says he was “abandoned” – left alone with just a bag containing his possessions.

For assistance he was told to contact the charity Migrant Help UK.

A bewildered Mr Abbasi said he did not understand why he had been moved to such a filthy house.

“I am just confused. This place is full of flies. I don’t know what kind of disease could be here.

“How can a house be rented when it’s in a situation like this? I don’t know how anyone could cope with this.

“I don’t feel that it’s safe to stay here. I would rather stay in the park.

“My place in Bradford was luxury compared to this. It was like Ronaldo’s apartment. What am I to do? I need a miracle.”

The house, which is sub-let from a housing provider, has five bedrooms, a bathroom, a sitting room, and a kitchen.

Furniture is basic and sometimes broken. One wall has an enormous stain and a fridge stinks of rotten food.

Mr Abbasi, 32, is a Kurdish Sunni Muslim who fled from Iran in 2010 following threats of torture and death, was moved from Bradford to Huddersfield 11 months after making a fresh claim for asylum.

He was dropped at his new accommodation by a G4S driver but the building was locked. The driver was able to gain entry via an insecure door.

Clr Sheikh Ullah, who witnessed the conditions in the house, said they were “completely atrocious”. He likened the property to a slum.

He has sought to intercede in Mr Abbasi’s case by raising the matter with Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman.

“Abandoning people like this is totally wrong,” he said, “asylum seekers are among the most vulnerable people in our society. Many are fleeing persecution and have complex psychological needs.”

After experiencing conditions in the house at first-hand he added: “This is completely atrocious. To be living in these conditions is appalling.

“This just proves that the hostile Home Office policy is not working. It is a complete failed policy.

“I’m glad the G4S contract has ended. A question I have for the new contractor is: will you be checking the health and safety conditions of the property or does a roof over your head mean literally a roof over your head and nothing more?

“Something is not right.”

He pledged to liaise with Mr Sheerman to make contact with the contract provider and ask them to come and witness what he described as “these appalling conditions that people are living in”.

A spokeswoman for G4S said Mr Abbasi’s arrival in Huddersfield coincided with the transition of the company’s contract to new provider Mears, which has taken over the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Other regions have gone to outsourcing firm Serco.

She confirmed that until Wednesday (August 7) G4S had managed the accommodation contract on behalf of the Home Office.

She also said that G4S had received no complaints about the state of the property from Mr Abbasi or any other person.

She said: “G4S is no longer the contract provider but we had been until Wednesday.

“We worked with a select few accommodation providers in the region.

“If issues are flagged and logged through the proper channels they can be fixed.”

The G4S contract was awarded in 2012 when the government removed responsibility for housing people seeking asylum from local authorities.

Instead it created deals known as COMPASS contracts with companies such as G4S, Serco and Clearsprings.

In recent years both G4S and Serco have incurred millions of pounds in fines for the standard of their asylum housing.

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