Abbie Trayler-Smith

England, Great Britain, UK, UNITED KINGDOM

34 year old Alain sits in the subway in Walthamstow, London where he slept for months after first arriving in the UK. After fleeing DR Congo and claiming asylum in the UK in 2002 he spent months destitute. His work as a TV journalist led to his arrest and torture by government soldiers in DR Congo, and only after paying a huge bribe was he able to escape and flee the country. If he returns he believes he will be killed. His asylum claim was refused, and unable to work or support himself, he began sleeping rough in the Elephant and Castle area of London. He is completely destitute and struggles to survive, depending on a friend who is also a refused asylum seeker but who has support from section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (no choice of accommodation and GBP 35 of supermarket vouchers a week). Two years ago Alain was the victim of a racist attack, when a white man blinded him in one eye with a piece of broken glass. "As asylum seekers we have been punished twice once back home and once here. In Kinshasa I was tortured physically and here I'm tortured mentally. I've transferred from one prison to another." Alain is one of an estimated 300,000 rejected asylum seekers living in the UK.

Object Name
Abbie Trayler-Smith
England, Great Britain, UK
Max size
High Resolution
4500 x 3662 pixels
38.1 x 31 cm (300 dpi)
15 x 12.21 inch (300 dpi)
8.7 MB size on disk
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