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  1. ITV Report

Call for inquiry over asylum seeker who took own life after application refusal

A Swansea MP is calling for a full inquiry into the death of a 27-year-old asylum seeker whose application to stay in the UK was refused.

Eyob Tefera from Ethiopia took his own life last month after it was claimed he was made homeless, was unable to work and had no money to return home.

Swansea was declared a City of Sanctuary in 2010 and is home to a large number of people seeking refuge. It describes itself as a national movement 'committed to building a culture of hospitality and welcome especially for refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution.'

Geraint Davies MP has written to the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, stating that there were 'a number of institutional failures in the lead up to Eyob’s death'.

He claims Eyob's mental health deteriorated after his asylum application was refused by the Home Office.

People close to Eyob described him as 'becoming withdrawn and depressed' and his mental state worsened 'considerably' after the death of a friend.

Undoubtedly, there were multiple institutional failures which meant that Mr Terefa lacked the mental and physical support he required. We need to rethink the way we treat asylum seekers to avoid a tragedy like this happening again.

That is why I am writing to the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, to call for a full inquiry into this tragic event. This demands our urgent attention and I will be using my Parliamentary platform to call for Government Action.

– Geraint Davies MP, Swansea West

In response, the Home Office said it provides support to help those with 'no lawful basis to remain to leave the UK with dignity'.

The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need our protection and all cases are considered on their individual merits.

However, we expect those who have been refused asylum and who have no lawful basis to remain in the UK to leave at the earliest opportunity. The Home Office provides support through its Voluntary Returns Service to help those with no lawful basis to remain to leave the UK with dignity.

If there is a genuine obstacle, such as they are too unwell to travel or do not have a valid travel document, that prevents a failed asylum seeker's departure from the UK and they are destitute, they can apply for support under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.”

– Home Office spokesperson