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Hotel death fall of five-year-old Afghan refugee an ‘unimaginable tragedy’, MPs say

Written by on 20/08/2021

The death of a five-year-old Afghan refugee who fell from a ninth-floor hotel window in Sheffield is an “unimaginable tragedy,” the city’s MPs have said.

Mohammed Munib Majeedi died shortly after his family’s arrival in the UK as they fled the Taliban in Afghanistan.

South Yorkshire Police has issued an appeal for information following his death on Wednesday.

General view of the Metropolitan Hotel in Sheffield, where an Afghan refugee, 5, died after falling from a window
Image: The Metropolitan Hotel in Sheffield, where Mohammed died after falling from a window

“The death of Mohammed Munib Majeedi is an unimaginable tragedy,” the group of Sheffield Labour MPs said.

“Our hearts go out to his family and friends; and supporting them at this terrible time must be everyone’s priority.

“After fleeing the harrowing situation in Afghanistan they sought asylum and protection in our country and it is devastating that this young boy lost his life in this way and here in the UK’s first City of Sanctuary.

“His death is felt across Sheffield and across the country.”

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The MPs – Paul Blomfield, Clive Betts, Olivia Blake, Gill Furniss and Louise Haigh – called on the government to ensure the UK becomes a safe haven for those fleeing Afghanistan.

“Lessons must be learnt from this tragedy so it is never repeated,” they said. “The Home Office have a duty of care for all those who they resettle under their programmes.

Floral tributes at the Metropolitan Hotel Sheffield, where an Afghan refugee, 5, died after falling from a window
Image: Floral tributes to Mohammed were left outside the Metropolitan Hotel in Sheffield

“We support the Refugee Council’s call for an urgent investigation into the circumstances of Mohammed’s death, which must be independently conducted to establish what was known by the Home Office about the suitability and safety of this accommodation, and what procedures were followed before commissioning its use for vulnerable families.

“The UK must be a safe haven for those fleeing the appalling horrors in Afghanistan, and we must see a clear commitment from the government to ensure this is the case.”

Hotels are being used by the government to help support efforts to accommodate those who have left Afghanistan.

The government has been using hotels to help support efforts to accommodate those who have left Afghanistan.

A government spokesperson said: “We are extremely saddened by the tragic death of a child at a hotel in Sheffield.

“The police are providing support to the family while the investigation continues and we are providing accommodation and support.”

The UK government’s scheme to take in 20,000 refugees, with 5,000 in the first year, has been criticised for not being a fast enough response to events in Afghanistan.

Home Secretary Priti Patel told Sky News’ Kay Burley it is “important” that the scheme “delivers” and that the UK “cannot accommodate 20,000 people in one go”.

 Sky News

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