As Christmas approaches we find ourselves still fighting hard to get Hassockfield /Derwentside IRC closed. The demo placards in front of the gates demand answers and action. So do some of our peers and politicians at our behest. And while the Home Office’s PR machine churns out bland messages and replies on detention issues to parliamentary urgent questions, journalists continue to press for answers and sometimes get them. Here’s a case in point.
It reveals the desperation of a 27 year old asylum seeker- a bright,once hopeful son, brother, nephew, friend. Housed on the Bibby Stockholm barge, he died in a suspected suicide last week and has now been named as Leonard Farruku. Back home he could well have been caught up in one of Albania’s savage and deadly wars between families – feuds that as anyone with knowledge of the country’s history, would know blight the lives of communities.
We quote from Diana Taylor’s report in The Guardian. “Farruku, 27, an Albanian national, was first named in reports in the Telegraph. Several asylum seekers onboard the barge, which is moored in Portland, Dorset, told the Guardian the man had appeared to be in a state of distress shortly before he died, shouting and banging on the wall of his cabin.
According to the Telegraph, his sister Jola Dushku, 33, who lives in Lombardy in Italy, claimed he was being treated “like an animal” on the barge before his death.
Farruku is the second Albanian man to die in the space of a few weeks while in the care of the Home Office. Alfred Dosku, 37, died on 17 November after a suicide attempt. He spent a week in hospital in a critical condition before he died.”
There are Albanian women in Hassockfield/Derwentside right now, fleeing a society which may seem safe if you’re sunning yourself on its beaches yet can be anything but. And soon young men like Leonard will be imprisoned in this IRC too, if the government ever finishes turning a facility refurbished specifically for women into one that can house twice as many males….