Poverty-stricken mum found dead beside starving baby after she lost work visa

A Ugandan woman was found dead next to her starving baby in a Glasgow flat – the third such tragedy to affect Glasgow’s refugee community in less than four months.

The body of Mercy Baguma was discovered by police on Saturday August 22. The alarm was raised after friends had not heard from her since Tuesday.

Her baby boy son was rushed to hospital to be treated and was released yesterday. The child’s father is caring for him and resides elsewhere in the city.

It is understood Mercy, who was in her 30s, lost her job after her limited leave to remain expired and she was no longer allowed to work.

Mercy was living in extreme poverty when she claimed asylum and was relying on food from friends and charitable organisations.

Robina Qureshi, Director of Positive Action in Housing told Glasgow Live : “This is the third tragedy to affect the city’s refugee population in as many months.

"Mercy contacted our charity on August 11 and said she was not getting any financial support yet had made an application to MigrantHelp.

"Had she lived she would have been a high priority for a crisis payment from our Emergency Relief Fund like hundreds of others left functionally destitute by the asylum system."

“The question remains," Robina asked, "why are mothers and babies being left to go hungry in this city, why is it being left to charities and volunteers to pick up the pieces? Does society have anything to say about that other than call them a drain on society?

"The fact is there is no safety net if you're a refugee or migrant. You are left destitute and without resources. And you're left silenced by far right rhetoric for being forced to ask for help.

"Would this mother be alive if she was not forced out of her job by this cruel system that stops you from working and paying your way because a piece of paper says your leave to remain has expired? I’m sure Mercy’s son will want to ask this and other questions once he is old enough."

The tragedy comes after Syrian man Adnan Olbeh was found dead at McLays Guest House in Garnethill in May, while a man was shot dead and six people were injured in a knife attack in the Park Inn Hotel in Glasgow city centre in June.

The charity is demanding the Home Office carry out a public inquiry into the deaths and accommodation provision for asylum seekers.

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