YOUR two detailed articles about Adnan Walid Elbi were distressing to read, but thank you for printing them (Seven Day, Sunday National, June 14 & 21).

This Syrian refugee needed international protection and a chance to rebuild his life after horrific and sad experiences. He

was a family man who wanted to help his family but he needed support here and a way forward – international protection and permission to work to provide for himself and his family and make

his contribution.

Instead, this vulnerable man was detained in the UK despite the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees stating this is not appropriate. He was then released. This should not have taken place – this process wastes public money but worsens human health, a fact known to the authorities.

He was placed in a flat in

Glasgow. He had accommodation. Yet he was then moved by Mears,

in the middle of a pandemic, to a hotel, where he died.

They conducted no assessment of this man’s mental health or any assessment at all. The Home Office has vulnerability criteria, and these can include those who suffered torture or serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence. Why were these not employed? It seems his health was not looked after in the hotel either.

Adnan and others were stripped of their tiny cash payments once they were moved, making it impossible for them to top up their phones, contact their lawyers or their families or buy food, which it appears they needed.

This action appears cruel. Those in this controlled situation have little legal, nutritional or medical agency.

I understand the Mears group have no duty of care in their contract, with serious implications for anyone in their grasp. Mears have also stated they would do all this again even though they have apparently moved trafficking victims and children out of the hotels.

So they were parcelled in (wrongly) and, parcelled out, like human detritus, at the expenses of the public purse. They say they could look after people better in six hotels. But unfortunately all the evidence points to the opposite outcome.

Since I starting writing this a ghastly attack has occurred. It seems these places are just not safe, so much so that people are dying.

The Home Office and Mears hold responsibility, and appear horribly and dangerously unfit for this work.

Name and address supplied

I WAS very pleased at the article

“SI is the Tartan Pravda” by Grant Thoms, and the responses from Donald Anderson from Glasgow and George MacDougall from Edinburgh.

I recruited Grant as the editor

to follow me, and made a wise choice. I was the previous

accidental editor as the ones we had at that time took umbrage at something the company secretary had written. We sat at the board meeting and Jimmy Halliday, our then chairman, asked if I could fill in. I agreed but only for three months, but somehow ten years got added. Politics is like that.

I did not know Donald Anderson, he was before my time, but I knew George MacDougall from the two elections in 1974, when I was the SNP candidate in Edinburgh North; at that time he was working at The Scotsman, a very different one to

the present day.

As soon as I joined the SNP in Peterhead in 1966 I became an SI reader. I also arranged for it to be delivered by a local newsagent to every barber’s shop, doctor’s and dentist’s waiting room and the bus station. I reasoned that people sitting in waiting rooms needed something to read, so the branch paid the bills. I left Peterhead to move to Edinburgh at the end of 1969, so I do not know how long that lasted.

When I got to Edinburgh I

started an anonymous column in

the weekly SI called “Hamish’s Branch”, a fictitious branch giving my thoughts on how things should be. I know it had some impact as the then national secretary, Gordon Wilson, said at one meeting “I think this is one for the ghostly Hamish”. He did not know me, nor I him. It did not last long as I accidentally let it slip to another branch member.

When we had 11 MPs in 1974 they put out a record of all the submissions they had made in a newsletter called Contact. I phoned Dougie Stewart, our then editor, and suggested he get someone to summarise them for the SI. His response? “When can I expect the first issue?” That was not my idea, but I did it. I gave my column the title Contact Lens.

During my tenure as SI editor I met one of our donors who wanted the SI delivered to every house in Scotland. This was not feasible, but I came up with a four-page SI for special events. We supplied these at £30 per thousand to branches and in 2010 and 2011 we sold enough to supply a fifth of the households in Scotland.

I do know that one MSP swears he was elected in a low-rated seat because they delivered 30,000 in the last week of the campaign.

I enjoyed my time as editor, but looked for a long time for a replacement as I was 80 years old. Strangely enough, three months after I had given up I landed in hospital with a ruptured aneurism. I spent six weeks in hospital. As folk tell you, “timing is everything”.

Jim Lynch