AN independent inquiry is to be held to look into the treatment of asylum seekers in Scotland during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.

The news was announced yesterday, on the second anniversary of the stabbings at the Park Inn hotel in Glasgow.

The inquiry has been commissioned by the group Refugees for Justice. It has been pressing the Home Office for a public inquiry since the stabbings.

The private review will be led by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC.

Home Office contractor Mears moved hundreds of asylum seekers from apartments into Glasgow hotels in March 2020.

Two months later, one of them, Adnan Elbi, died due to suspected suicide in a hotel in Glasgow.

On June 26, 2020, six people – including three asylum seekers, one police officer and two staff members – were injured in the incident at the Park Inn.

Badreddin Abdalla Adam, an asylum seeker who had been living there, was shot dead by police following the attack.

It later emerged he had been struggling with his mental health during lockdown there and had called the Home Office and other organisations more than 70 times. Kennedy said her inquiry would look at whether there were flaws in the care and treatment of asylum seekers in areas such as housing and mental health support.

She told BBC Scotland it will examine “whether there was proper provision for the welfare of those people, asking the question why was it they were moved out of places where they had made friends”.

The inquiry will provide recommendations to improve the provision of asylum accommodation. It will be published in two parts. Part one will look at the existing body of evidence relating to these events.

Part two will consider the themes and unanswered questions which emerge from part one, through analysis of written and oral evidence.

Alison Thewliss, the SNP’s shadow chancellor, tweeted about the launch of the inquiry. She wrote: “This is a very significant inquiry – there must be full understanding of what happened during the pandemic, and of course the wider concerns about Home Office policy.”

The first part of the report can be read here.

Baroness Kennedy said: “In the absence of a public inquiry, this independent Commission of Inquiry (the Inquiry) seeks to make sense of the decisions that led up to these events and to provide recommendations to improve provision of asylum accommodation and support and to stop future tragedies occurring.”

She added: “Importantly, this report is published two years after the tragic events at Park Inn.

“There is precious little evidence of changes in policy or practice as a result of this tragedy, despite the elapsed time.

“It is therefore also in pursuit of dignity for the lost lives of Adnan Elbi and Badreddin Abdalla Adam, and for those who sustained injuries and trauma at the time, that this report has been produced.”

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Refugees for Justice tweeted: “Today is a historic day. 26 June 2022, second anniversary of Park Inn tragedy, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC is launching an independent inquiry into the handling of asylum support and accommodation in Glasgow during Covid. We are going to be heard, finally.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “Since this horrific incident we have undertaken a number of significant changes to keep asylum seekers safe, including how we, our contractors and charities spot vulnerable individuals and provide them with wraparound support and appropriate accommodation.

“Due to the pandemic the Home Office had to use an unprecedented number of hotels for asylum seekers, including in Glasgow.

“The use of hotels is unacceptable and we are working hard to find appropriate accommodation for asylum seekers but local authorities must do all they can to help house people permanently.”