West London coroner's court is explore the role played by the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, health professionals and detention centre subcontractors in the death of Tarek Chowdhury. (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images).


A SERIES of shortcomings resulted in the killing of a “gentle and polite” man in immigration detention, an inquest jury has found.

West London coroner’s court is explore the role played by the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, health professionals and detention centre subcontractors in the death of Tarek Chowdhury.

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.

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, Yusif was sentenced to 15 years in jail. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility because of his mental health issues.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with Mr Chowdhury’s loved ones, and we deeply regret any failings that may have contributed to his death,” a Home Office spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Chowdhury’s family said after the inquest: “These proceedings have shown us that the systems are broken and that it is time for agencies to do some soul searching. The perpetrator should never have been in an immigration detention centre and no one took responsibility for ensuring that it was safe for him to be there. Tarek became victim to his horrific assault.

“To make matters even worse, we found out that Tarek himself shouldn’t have been in detention. Tarek’s wife and daughters were expecting their husband and father to join them back home in Bangladesh. Instead they received news of his death.”