Scotland: Campaigners hit the streets to highlight destitution of asylum seekers

Edinburgh campaigners will leave the comfort of their homes and beds this evening (22 June) and literally take to the streets to highlight the plight of destitute asylum seekers.

Members of the Edinburgh St Mark’s group of Amnesty International will protest against Government policies which deny benefits to asylum seekers who cannot return home, yet forbid them to earn their keep by working.

To illustrate the desperate situations which arise when vulnerable people are left with no means of support, the Group will themselves spend the night sleeping rough in the city centre.

Pat Bryden, one of those sleeping out, said: “It is shocking that in this wealthy country, many rejected asylum seekers are living from hand to mouth, with all avenues to a normal life blocked. Most live in abject poverty relying on others to survive, sometimes going hungry and sleeping in the streets. Many appear to have given up hope of ever being able to live a normal life. We know of some who have lost the will to live.”

The group will sleep out in the forecourt of St John’s Church at the corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road between 7pm on Friday 22nd and 7am on Saturday 23rd.

Amnesty International is part of the Still Human Still Here campaign, which is dedicated to highlighting the plight of tens of thousands of refused asylum seekers who are being forced into abject poverty in an attempt to drive them out of the country.

***There will be a photo opportunity at 7pm as the campaigners settle in for the night, while everyone else starts to go out.

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