• Wednesday, Dec 01, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:11 pm

Investigation into Bangladeshi's death begins at UK detention centre

  • Published at 11:33 pm March 12th, 2019
Tarek Chowdhury
Tarek Chowdhury File photo

The victim, Tarek Chowdhury was described as a 'gentle and polite' man during a hearing at the West London Coroners’ Court on Monday

An inquest has been opened in London into the death of a 64-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant while in detention at a removal centre in London awaiting a decision on his UK residency status.

The victim, Tarek Chowdhury was described as a “gentle and polite” man during a hearing at the West London Coroners’ Court on Monday.

The 64-year-old was killed by an Iraqi migrant, Zana Assad Yusif, at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre in west London in December 2016. Zana Assad Yusif having a history of violence and mental health problems admitted of beating Tarek to death.

Yusif, 33, had pleaded guilty to the murder at a trial at the Old Bailey Court in London in May 2017 and was sentenced to 15 years in jail. He had 16 previous convictions for 33 different offences at the time when he beat up Tarek, who had lived in the UK for 13 years and was detained by the UK Home Office at the centre for overstaying his visa.

Forida Habib, Tarek’s cousin, told the court hearing that when they heard he had been detained, they never imagined that a couple of days later he would be dead.

“We hope the truth will be exposed and lessons are learned from this tragedy,” she said.

The family solicitor, Bharine Kalsi from Deighton Pierce Glynn, added that “This is a shocking case that raises very serious questions about the state of immigration detention system in this country.”

What does the victim’s family want?

Tarek’s family want answers to questions about the adequacy of the care and management of detainees and of the medical care provided at the centre.

Investigation to continue

The investigation is expected to last for few more weeks, during which the role of the UK authorities will be among the issues examined.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The welfare of all those in our care is of the utmost importance and we expect detainees to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Any death in immigration detention is subject to investigation by the police, the coroner and the independent prisons and probation ombudsman. Any recommendations made following an investigation into a death are treated seriously and action is taken to ensure they are implemented swiftly.

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