THE Home Office has come under fire after a man lost his life when officials locked him up together with a mentally unstable person in immigration detention.
Tarek Chowdhury, 64, from Bangladesh, was killed by Zana Assad Yusif, 33, from Iraq, at Colnbrook immigration removal centre near Heathrow in December 2016.
Yusif launched an apparently unprovoked attack on the older man and allegedly killed him with his bare hands after he asked for a lighter.
An inquest that opened on Monday (11) at west London coroner’s court is exploring the role of the Home Office in the death.
Chowdhury lived in the UK for 13 years and was detained by the Home Office as an overstayer when he attended a regular reporting session. Yusif came to the UK when he was 17.
In 2017, he was sentenced to 15 years in jail. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility because of his mental health issues.
Forida Habib, Chowdhury’s cousin, told the Guardian that everyone who knew him described him as soft, gentle and polite.
“When we heard he had been detained we never imagined that a couple of days later he would be dead… We hope the truth will be told at the inquest and that lessons are learned from this tragedy.”
The family’s solicitor, Bharine Kalsi, from Deighton Pierce Glynn, said: “This is a shocking case that raises very serious questions about the state of immigration detention system in this country. Mr Chowdhury’s family want answers to questions about the adequacy of the care and management of detainees and of the medical care provided.”