Candlelit vigil to be held for asylum seeker after Glasgow death

A candlelit vigil is to be held for an asylum seeker found dead in her flat near her baby son, a charity has said.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 7:30 am
Mercy Baguma, an asylum seeker from Uganda, was found dead in Glasgow
Mercy Baguma, an asylum seeker from Uganda, was found dead in Glasgow

Mercy Baguma, 34, who was originally from Uganda and seeking asylum in the UK, died in Glasgow last month.

Her body was found in the hallway of her flat on 22 August with her son Adriel alone in his cot.

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Ms Baguma’s partner Eric Nnanna, 30, said he last heard from her four days earlier and called police to force open the door after hearing his son crying inside.

He said it was a “miracle” the baby survived.

Mr Nnanna is holding a candlelit vigil tomorrow to remember Ms Baguma’s life, charity Positive Action in Housing has said.

It said Ms Baguma’s body would be flown to Uganda today for burial tomorrow and the vigil is being held as Mr Nnanna and Adriel are unable to attend the overseas ceremony.

The vigil will take place at Elder Park Boating Pond in Govan, Glasgow, at 3pm.

Positive Action in Housing said in a statement: “Elder Park is a place that Mercy loved.

“She and Eric spent some happy days there with baby Adriel.”

Ms Baguma’s death has prompted calls for reform of the asylum system in the UK.

Positive Action in Housing is calling for a public inquiry into her death and those of other asylum seekers in Glasgow, as well as into asylum seeker accommodation in the city.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “consumed with sadness” and anger at the death. She said “wholesale reform” of the asylum system was needed, starting from “the principle of dignity, of empathy and of support for our fellow human beings”.

The Home Office said it would be investigating Ms Baguma’s case.

Mr Nnanna has spoken of the “fake news” surrounding reports of his partner’s death, which said she and their son had been “starving”.

“Asylum seekers and refugees do not get a lot of support from the government, but there are charities that help,” Mr Nnanna said last week.

“To say that Mercy died of starvation or hunger is wrong. There were people there to help.”

Mr Nnanna said it had been a miracle that his son had survived. “I don’t know where he got the strength from,” he said.

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