A homeless Somali asylum seeker has died in hospital after ending up in a coma following a fight with several others at an abandoned garage in Amsterdam where they have been living for several months.
The man is one of a group of around 100 refugees who have lost their right to stay in the Netherlands but are either refusing to leave or don’t have proper paperwork to return home.
Two men, aged 31 and 33, have been arrested and have been taken into custody.
According to the spokesman for the group, the death was an accident and the 26-year-old fell on his head.
‘We are all different nationalities with different habits,’ Fuad Guhaad is quoted as saying by the Parool. ‘Some of us have family with us. These people are frustrated and under pressure. This sort of thing has happened before.’
The group of refugees are no longer entitled to council accommodation because they have lost their appeals to be allowed to stay in the Netherlands.
For the past two years they have moved in to various empty properties in the city, including a church, a prison and old offices.
The Dutch human rights board warned earlier this summer that the situation in the garage was threatening to get out of hand. ‘Take action before someone dies,’ the board is quoted as saying by the Parool newspaper.
The group have been ordered to leave the garage by December 1.
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