George fears eviction will kill him

AN asylum seeker with a heart condition and who is being tested for cancer fears he will be made homeless.

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George Debrin fears being made homeless
George Debrin fears being made homeless

Russian-born George Debrin, has lived in a flat in Maryhill, Glasgow, for about six months.

The 54-year-old fled from St Petersburg, Russia, in 2000 to claim political asylum in the UK because he believed his life was in danger.

Due to his anti- Communist views he had previously been sent to a hard labour camp in Siberia before he broke his back and then eventually managed to leave the country.

When he came to Glasgow about two years ago he was forced to sleep in a night shelter until he was given a flat to stay in.

Mr Debrin was refused asylum recently under a Legacy Claim but is applying for support because of his health condition.

Asylum seekers can be given housing as well as a payment card for food and toiletries if they are refused asylum.

Solicitors at the Ethnic Minority Law Centre are also making a new human rights application on behalf of Mr Debrin, whose health is continuing to decline.

However, he knows he can be told to leave at any time.

Orchard and Shipman, the firm that provides housing to asylum seekers in Glasgow on behalf of Serco, and the Home Office have already told him he will be moved out if his home.

Mr Debrin has no financial support and cannot access food banks because of his situation.

He said: "I went to see a doctor about three months ago and she sent me to hospital. I had tests and now I have heart failure. I have to take medication every day."

Heart failure means a heart is not functioning as well as it should.

Mr Debrin also underwent tests for prostate cancer about two weeks ago at Gartnavel Hospital and is awaiting the results.

Margaret Sweeney, chairwoman of Glasgow Night Shelter for Destitute Asylum Seekers, said: "George's case is unique because he is so unwell.

"He won't be able to survive sleeping on a cold hard floor and wandering the streets during the day.

"He needs help because he is in pain. All of this is causing so much stress his health is deteriorating even more.

"George needs a roof over his head and a bed."

When the Evening Times asked Serco to clarify if or when Mr Debrin will be moved out, the inquiry was passed on to the Home Office.

A Home Office spokeswoman said the organisation did not comment on individual cases. But she added: "The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need it and we consider every application on its individual merits.

"However, we firmly believe those who do not need our protection should return home at the earliest opportunity.

"No failed asylum seeker need face destitution if they comply with the law and go home when required. If they are unable to go home for some reason beyond their control, support is provided."

A spokeswoman for the Ethnic Minorities Law Centre said: "Mr Debrin has instructed us to prepare a fresh human rights application based on his failing health.

"In the meantime it is likely he will face further suffering as a result of his ill-health were he to lose his accommodation and become homeless."



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