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Asylum seeker suffered miscarriage 'over eviction threat'

Lana Rashidi and her husband Rabar sought refuge in Scotland after fleeing Iraq.

An asylum seeker suffered a miscarriage after being told she would be evicted from her home, she has claimed.

Lana Rashidi and her husband Rabar Razaie have lived in Glasgow since fleeing Iraq 18 months ago.

They were among 328 people threatened with eviction by Home Office housing provider Serco.

Lana, 29, said the trauma of being told she would have to leave caused her to lose her child.

"I was in a healthy pregnancy," she said. "When the notice was given to me I became really stressed.

"Because of the stress I was under I had a miscarriage and lost my child."

'We're in a country where a woman has rights and I feel as a pregnant woman my rights were taken away.'
Lana Rashidi

Lana and Rabat were issued with an eviction notice in April after Rabar's asylum application was turned down. Lana lost her child - a boy they named Riva - in May at 19 weeks.

"We're in a country where a woman has rights and I feel as a pregnant woman my rights were taken away," Lana said.

"I wasn't given any support - I was given a notice of eviction. I was emotionally destroyed."

Lana and her husband are no longer under threat of eviction after the Home Office agreed this week to consider Lana's application for asylum.

"My condition is getting better because of the great news I've received," she added. "But what can I do now I've lost so many things?"

"When Lana was pregnant we were hoping to be three people - a family - we had lots of hopes. We were so happy to come to a safe country," said Rabar, 35.

Lana's case has been taken up by the Govan Law Centre, which is taking legal action to halt the eviction of Serco's tenants.

Meanwhile, housing charity Shelter lodged papers seeking a block on the evictions at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Monday.

Serco said it "welcomed" the legal challenge and believes its plans are "fully within the law".

It claims to have spent around £1m housing overstaying asylum seekers in Glasgow without support from the Home Office and said it has been subjected to "vile abuse".

People whose applications are rejected no longer receive assistance but cannot be deported while they appeal the Home Office's decision. Around half of asylum decisions are overturned on appeal.

'Lock changes and evictions are not good for anyone, and do not have support within the city'
Susan Aitken, leader, Glasgow City Council

Later on Tuesday it emerged that immigration minister Caroline Nokes has agreed to allow Glasgow City Council to individually assess all asylum seekers under threat of eviction.

Following the "constructive" meeting, council leader Susan Aitken said: "There is currently little clarity about the actual status of the 330 people affected, therefore it is essential that Glasgow City Council has the time and opportunity to carry out individual assessments for all of them and ensure that everyone gets the right support and outcome for their circumstances.

"The minister agreed this was necessary and her officers have committed to engaging constructively with us to ensure this is put in place.

"Ms Nokes and her officials have been left in no doubt that lock changes and evictions are not good for anyone, and do not have support within the city."

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