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All we are asking for is a bit of respect and dignity.

Byline: KEANE DUNCAN @keanedunk

AN asylum seeker who fled warn-torn Africa took his fight for better accommodation on to the streets of Middlesbrough.

Jalloh Ibrahima, originally from Liberia, used a megaphone outside Jomast's HQ in the town to decry the "mental trauma" inflicted by conditions in the company's properties.

He was one of dozens of demonstrators who marched through the town centre in protest at the firm's policy of room sharing.

"Everyone needs privacy," said Mr Ibrahima. "It's unacceptable. That's why we're calling to end room sharing."

Teesside-based Jomast is sub-contracted by security firm G4S to provide accommodation for asylum seekers.

Their properties are scattered across the North East region, including in Newcastle where Mr Ibrahima shares a room with another unrelated male.

However Jomast claims the homes are "fully compliant". But, addressing the crowd yesterday, Mr Ibrahima said his Newcastle accommodation is crowded and poorly maintained, with conflict between residents a common occurrence.

He said: "Our houses are overcrowded. It's causing us to queue for the bathroom, queue for the kitchen.

"You can't bring your girlfriend to your room. I can't have a relationship.

"This is causing a conflict.

We're calling to end this.

"These are basic human rights. We're not asking for a dream home."

Mr Ibrahima was joined by other asylum seekers at the march organised by the Migration and Asylum Justice Forum.

Mr Ibrahima said he feels increasingly isolated adding: "We're always in the house because we don't have a job. There's no escape.

"We have been demanding this for so long. We are asking for little things - respect and dignity."


Jalloh Ibrahima speaking at the protest

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Mar 6, 2018
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