Slovenian Man Killed Himself While Being Held in UK Immigration Detention Centre

By , 29 Nov 2018, 16:01 PM News
Verne Immigration Removal Centre Verne Immigration Removal Centre Flickr - Jim Linwood CC-by-2.0

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The Guardian (UK) reports that Branko Zdravkovic, a Slovenian man working as a waiter in London, hanged himself earlier this year while being held in an immigration detention centre.

As the paper writes: “The Home Office said he was facing administrative removal because he was not exercising his treaty rights to work in the UK. But his lawyers dispute that claim, saying that, while his schedule was not always predictable, he worked for many of his eight years in London as a waiter in establishments including the House of Lords, the Guildhall and the Gherkin.”

Mr Zdravkovic was original taken into custody in late March 2017 after his partner, Nicola Sanderson, called the police based on concerns about his drinking and mental health, hoping that he would then receive medical assistance. Instead he was taken to an immigration detention centre.

Four days after entering the Verne Immigration Removal Centre in Portland, Dorset, he was put under suicide and self-harm monitoring, due to his distress at being held. However, when Ms Sanderson went to visit Mr Zdravkovic on April 9, she was told that he had killed himself the previous day.

The death is one of 11 in UK immigration detention centres  in 2017, the highest annual total on record. While more information is available at Inquest, as yet there have been no explanations as to why Mr Zdravkovic, an EU citizen, was being held in such a centre, or whether the Slovenian Embassy had been informed of his detention.

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