A Nigerian man has died in a British detention centre after he was denied medical attention despite saying he felt unwell.
His family has told UK media The Independent that the Oscar Okwurime, 34, was discovered lying in his cell at the Harmondsworth removal centre by another detainee last week.
Police in the UK say they are investigating the cause of his death which is still unknown.
Oscar’s older brother who was only named as Alex told The Independent that his brother was feeling unwell during his first week in the detention centre.
Alex was quoted as saying that “I told him (Oscar) straight away: tell the authorities there and they will get you checked.”
“That first week, they didn’t do anything. And the second week he said they were still saying nothing. The last time I saw him, he told me he was on a waiting list of about 400. He said he was feeling pain in his side. He hadn’t had any health issues before.”
He added that “It was a pure case of negligence. If someone is in your custody and telling you they’re not feeling well, it’s your duty of care to get them checked.”
“I’m feeling so livid now. Any time I’m alone, I’m in tears. It’s terrible, It’s very painful. I don’t know what to do,” Alex said.
Former detainee account
A former detainee who was with Mr Okwurime while he was in Harmondsworth said he hadn’t been feeling well and wanted to see a doctor but that “this was not a quick process” in the detention centre.
“He carried one of my bags. We were laughing together. Then I called him up early in the morning, just to chat, and he didn’t answer and then later on someone called me to say he had died. I’m still in shock now,” he said. “I’ve heard he was screaming.
There’s a button in the room but they don’t always come. They’re supposed to check through the door in the night. Why didn’t he get help on time?”
Oscar Okwurime was arrested and detained after entering the UK on a visitor’s visa. But he told the authorities he wished to seek asylum.