A man staying at a facility in Groningen for people who have been denied asylum set himself on fire on Thursday.
Translation by Traci White
The so-called “bed, bath, bread” (bed-bad-brood) location, which houses and feeds men and women whose asylum requests have been denied and are likely to be deported, is located on the Helsinkistraat.
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that the man set himself on fire around 9:30 on Thursday morning and was transported to hospital. His injuries are reportedly not life-threatening. The facility, which is run by the Inlia Foundation, is a former Hotel Formule 1. Men and women who have attempted to seek asylum in the Netherlands and exhausted all legal remedies are housed in the facility while awaiting a final decision on their case.
John van Tilborg, the director of the Inlia Foundation, told the Dagblad that the man was “troubled” problem case for the facility’s staff. The man was receiving guidance to prepare him for returning to his home country. The facility declined to say where the man was originally from in the interest of privacy, “but we have to see if he has anyone who can take care of him back home.”
In a statement on their website, the directors and employees of Inlia wrote that they were shocked by the incident, describing how a staff member and another person living in the facility helped to save his life by using a fire extinguisher. Alderperson Ton Schroor paid a visit to the facility on Thursday to thank the people who intervened to save the man.Around 15 people reportedly witnessed the incident.
Almost exactly a year ago, an American man at a similar facility in Ter Apel committed suicide. The man was being kept in a restricted movement area of the asylum seekers centre in Ter Apel and claimed to be a CIA agent, and was accused of sending threatening letters to American politicians. He made multiple attempts to obtain political asylum in the Netherlands, but was denied. His lawyer argued that the man was schizophrenic and he was prescribed medication, but reportedly did not receive extensive medical treatment.
Photo source: Google Maps