Homeless ordeal of Leeds asylum seeker


asylum-seekers2originally published: 10th July 2009

Rats, mice and insects are just some of the nocturnal invaders Ozgan Isa Isa has to deal with every night while trying to snatch some sleep. His bed is a collection of dirt-ingrained sheets, albeit laid out neatly, on the bare earth underneath a footbridge just 10 minutes from the centre of Leeds.

It looks like a human nest, the bedding covered with a heavier outer blanket and camouflaged with brown vines and leaves ripped from the surrounding foliage.

The 26-year-old is constantly woken by the fear of being attacked or simply by a pedestrian’s footsteps reverberating above his head.

He said: “I cannot sleep properly. I maybe get one or two hours a night. Sometimes three. “I’m just on my own so I’m always worried about being attacked. “In the middle I can feel the rats running over my sheets and it wakes me up.”

A Kurdish Iranian, Ozgan is one of 273 ‘unreturnables’ in Leeds which a report out on Thursday said were being failed by the Government in terms of support.

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