Its not a floating prison! Sky News host slams charity chiefs claim

Migration: Sabir Zazai quizzed on Sky over the ‘floating prison’

Sky News presenter Sarah-Jane Mee slammed Sabir Zazai for referring to the Bibby Stockholm barge as a “floating prison” as the first asylum seekers step on board the controversial housing alternative.

Mr Zazai – Chief Executive of the Scottish Refugee Council – discussed the vessel on Sky News this afternoon as Ms Mee delved into some of the controversy behind the plan.

The Bibby Stockholm is one of a number of alternative sites the Home Office is using to end reliance on expensive hotels for asylum seekers, which the government says is costing £6million a day.

Around 50 people are expected to move onto the vessel today, which is docked in Portland Port in Dorset.

Mr Zazai said “it’s a sad day for human rights” as he slammed the alternative housing option for asylum seekers, adding “it’s a sad day for people seeking protection here as well”.

READ MORE: Three walkers found dead in Scotland after going missing on hike

He added: “I think if you look into the context, people who are arriving here are fleeing human rights violations and atrocities around the world. I think barges are not appropriate for people who have fled human rights violations.

“People fleeing conflict experience trauma along the journey and during the conflict as well. I think this approach will retraumatise people who are simply looking for safety in our communities.

“We understand that capacity is a huge issue here. The cabins are for 222 people but the plans are to accomodate over 500 people. There will certainly be risks to people on the barge in cases of fire, safety but also breakouts of disease.

“When people arrive here, they are in care of the home secretary and I think on this occasion the home secretary is failing people.”

Don’t miss…
Canadian author of novel ‘bought by Harry and Meghan’ is a fan of the Sussexes[COMMENT]
Boy, 12, who tragically died while crossing the M62 is named[INSIGHT]
Ukraine says ‘250k Russian soldiers killed’ as Putin’s forces hit hard at front[LATEST]

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Host Sarah-Jane Mee questioned Mr Zazai’s approach, saying asylum seekers are “not being detained there, they are being housed there”.

The decision to move asylum seekers to the remote location has sparked a debate as human rights activists share concern for the welfare of those staying onboard.

Mr Zazai added: “I think the barge has been referred to as a floating prison and as a floating death trap by others so there are risks.”

But Ms Mee slammed this description, responding: “The government will say that safety assessments will have been taken onboard that barge, they wouldn’t put people on there unless it was safe. Calling it a floating prison, it’s not a prison they can come and go as they please.”

She added: “The home secretary might well say what more can we do. We are providing these asylum seekers with somewhere to sleep, food and water, recreational activities, they can come and go as they please… They are not being detained there they are being housed there.”

Protesters gathered at Portland Harbour on Monday with welcome packs containing toiletries and contact details of organisations offering support to migrants.

Care4Calais claimed it had stopped around 20 asylum seekers from various locations from boarding the barge, including people who have disabilities, people who have had traumatic experiences crossing the sea and victims of torture and modern slavery.

The charity said it will continue working with asylum seekers who don’t want to be moved into the accommodation.

Source: Read Full Article