MPs call for 'urgent investigation' into death of five-year-old refugee who fell from window

20 August 2021, 16:04

The five-year-old fell from a window in the Sheffield Metropolitan hotel.
The five-year-old fell from a window in the Sheffield Metropolitan hotel. Picture: Alamy

By Elizabeth Haigh

Five Sheffield Labour MPs have written Priti Patel calling for an "urgent investigation" into the tragic death of five-year-old Mohammed Munib Majeedi.

He fell from the window of the Sheffield Metropolitan Hotel at around 2.30pm on 18 August onto a car park.

The young boy is understood to have arrived in the UK with his family this summer, amidst a rapid takeover by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

South Yorkshire Police confirmed the boy was from Afghanistan. 

Louise Haigh (Sheffield Heeley), Clive Betts (Sheffield South East), Olivia Blake (Sheffield Hallam), Paul Blomfield (Sheffield Central), and Gill Furniss (Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough) have today written to the Home Secretary.

Read more: Five-year-old Afghan refugee who fell to death from hotel window in Sheffield named

They said: "After fleeing the harrowing situation in Afghanistan they sought asylum and protection in our country, so it is devastating that this young boy lost his life in this way and here in the UK's first City of Sanctuary. His death is felt across Sheffield and across the country.

"The lessons must be learned from this tragedy so it is never repeated. You will recognise that the Home Office has a duty of care for all those who are resettled under your programmes.

"In that context, we support the Refugee Council's call for an urgent investigation into the circumstances of Mohammed Munib Majeedi's death, which must be independently conducted to establish what was known by the Home Office about the suitability and safety of this accommodation, and what procedures were followed before commissioning its use for vulnerable families.

"The UK must be a safe haven for those fleeing the appalling horrors in Afghanistan, and we must see a clear commitment from the Government to ensure this is the case."

Following the tragedy, the Refugee Council has also called for a review of accommodation offered to refugees arriving in the UK after having fled the Taliban.

Read more: Afghan youth footballer found dead in US plane after attempting to flee Taliban

A spokesman for the Afghan Community Association in Sheffield said: "Whether it was a mistake or something, I don't know but what happened is not acceptable at all.

"As you can understand, it was somebody's life, it has caused big, big trauma for the boy's family. It is very, very sad for the whole community. Everybody has been devastated for this poor family who had just arrived from Afghanistan to have a life here."

According to witnesses, the boy's father had worked in the British Embassy in Kabul. One hotel resident, a former interpreter for the British in Afghanistan, said the family came to the UK three or four weeks ago.

They reportedly landed at Birmingham Airport before staying in Manchester in quarantine. The family, which was made up of the parents, three boys and two girls, moved to the hotel in Sheffield only three or four days ago.

The interpreter added: "If the dad is working for the Americans or the English then their lives are in danger in Afghanistan.

"They came here to save their lives, they came for a new life here."

Eight to ten families who had been staying at the hotel have since been moved elsewhere.

The Home Office has been contacted for comment.