Was murder of refugee a consequence of institutional disablism? It seems par for the course

The way Kamil Ahmad was treated by the authorities seems to be business as usual, as far as This Writer can tell.

As recently as July, we were told that victims of harassment and stalking were being routinely put at risk because of the failings of police and prosecutors.

Stalking behaviour has been identified in 94 per cent of murders – and harassment of the kind experienced by Kamil Ahmad may be considered extremely similar.

But the police are still refusing to give it enough attention.

Some might say this is because of Tory cuts that have crippled police forces but this behaviour in investigators seems to pre-date Theresa May’s vandalism.

And what about the decision by social services to evict this man – a decision that was only shown to have been reversed after his death?

For This Writer, that is uncomfortably close to the situation we see regularly with disabled benefit claimants, in which the Department for Work and Pensions refuses a claim – only to reverse its decision after the subject has died.

It is a convenience for the Department – no benefit will be paid because the claimant has passed on, but saying it has been granted avoids uncomfortable questions.

That’s why Bristol social services has used this dodge, in the opinion of This Writer.

I’m not saying either the police or social services deliberately neglected Kamil Ahmad’s case in order to cause his death – there’s no evidence here to support that and I don’t think the allegations of disablism and racism will get very far – but it does seem clear that his case did not receive the attention it deserved because of institutional routines.

Will the police start paying more attention to people reporting threatening behaviour? It seems unlikely.

Will social services (or the DWP, for that matter) improve the treatment of claimants? This also seems unlikely.

What is to be done, then?

Public bodies in Bristol are facing allegations of institutional disablism and racism, after the second case in four years in which a man has been convicted of the brutal murder of a disabled refugee.

Friends say that Kamil Ahmad had repeatedly told police officers that he was being threatened and racially abused by Jeffrey Barry, who lived in the same supported accommodation for people with mental health conditions in the Knowle area of Bristol.

Ahmad (pictured) was stabbed to death in the early hours of 7 July last year, just hours after Barry had been released from a hospital where he had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

Barry, 56, was convicted of murder this week, following a trial at Bristol Crown Court. He had denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He will be sentenced on 10 November.

But Disability News Service (DNS) has been told that the Kurdish asylum-seeker made repeated calls to police officers in the months and years leading up to his death, telling them that Barry was threatening him and that he did not feel safe.

Friends of Kamil Ahmad have also told DNS that Bristol social services – which he had also told about his fears for his safety – was about to evict him and leave him homeless and destitute on the streets, and only announced that this decision had been reversed after he had been killed.

Source: Police and council face questions over second murder of disabled refugee

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2 thoughts on “Was murder of refugee a consequence of institutional disablism? It seems par for the course

  1. damo

    And i bet the responce will be….lessons have been learned…..isnt that what they allways say this man was failed on all counts by social services by the police as was his killer .I remember 4 years ago liveing in a slum house of mutiple occupancy in west london a woman with sever mental health and alcahol problems was moved into one of the studio flats this poor woman needed to be in hospital instead she was dumped in unfit accomidstion and effectively abandoned she was suppossed to have assisted liveing she stopped takeing her meds and thats when it all brokedown and became a liveing hell a nightmare for us and her for 11 mounths the police out 2 ,3,4 times a week voilence danger chaos it drove some of my neibours to the point of breakdown…she like this poor man and his killer had been abandoned by incompetant mental health services and social service the whole thing was very horrifieing and sad and yet like the case youve writen about i wonder if any lessons were learned

  2. Christine Bergin

    The much vaunted ‘care in the community’ strikes again.
    Who’s policy was that then.

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