‘We don’t know where to go’: Migrant says he was removed from Manston immigration centre and left stranded in London | UK News


An asylum seeker who says he was among a group of migrants left stranded in central London on Tuesday night has said they were not told where they were going by officials.

The man, who gave his name as Hasibullah, from Afghanistan, said he was among a group of 45 migrants who were removed from Manston migration centre in Kent and taken to Victoria coach station.

The Home Office has confirmed that more than 1,000 people have been moved off the overcrowded migrant processing site in the last five days.

“They tell us ‘you go by bus'”, he told Sky News.

“We know that we go to London but we don’t know where.”

Speaking outside the hotel in Norwich where 11 members of the group were eventually taken, Hasibullah said they were not given any instructions or directions.

“When we reach London, the driver tell us ‘you go out’. Then, we don’t know where we go,” he said.

Asked if officials told them they were going to a hotel, he replied: “No, they did not tell us hotel or house.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been criticised over the conditions at Manston, which is designed to hold a maximum of 1,600 people – but has been used to house around 3,500 people for weeks.

Ms Braverman visited the centre on Thursday and confirmed that steps are being taken “immediately” to improve the situation at Manston.

The group were found by a volunteer from a homeless charity, who alerted the Home Office and helped to arrange transport to Norwich for those who were not able to stay with friends or family.

Volunteer Danial Abass told Sky correspondent Shamaan Freeman-Powell that he was on a routine walk to feed homeless people on Tuesday when he was approached by individuals who were “disoriented, desperate and completely lost” near Victoria coach station.

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Braverman visits Manston

“It was really a quite disturbing and distressing sight to see.”

He said lots of the men were wearing flip-flops, grey tracksuits, identification tags around their hands and “big blue industrial bin bags with no jackets or socks”.

Mr Abass said he took one of the men to Primark on Oxford Street and bought him jackets, shoes, clothes, hats and dinner from McDonald’s.

EDITORS NOTE Children's faces have been pixelated as the PA Picture Desk has been unable to gain the necessary permission to photograph a child under 16 on issues involving their welfare. A view of people thought to be migrants inside the Manston immigration short-term holding facility located at the former Defence Fire Training and Development Centre in Thanet, Kent. Picture date: Wednesday November 2, 2022.
People thought to be migrants are pictured at the Manston facility

Mr Abass said he understood that the bus arrived in London from Manston and that the majority of people on board had contacts and addresses to go to in London, but 11 of them had nowhere to go.

He added that the group thought they were headed to a hotel in London and then would be taken to an asylum interview in Croydon.

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Mr Abass was then advised by the Home Office to get the group to Norwich by taxi.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The welfare of those in our care is of the utmost importance and asylum seekers are only released from Manston when we have assurances that they have accommodation to go to.

“We worked at pace to find accommodation for the individuals as soon as we were notified, and they are now in accommodation and being supported.”


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