A three-page letter sent to the home secretary, Suella Braverman, also sets out the asylum seekers’ fear and despair at being trapped on the barge and appeals to her to help them in their search for safety and freedom in the UK, according to The Guardian.
They describe the barge as “an unsafe, frightening and isolated place” but said that as law-abiding people they were fearful of not obeying Home Office instructions. The asylum seekers described the barge as “a place of exile” and said the conditions were “small rooms and a terrifying residence”.
Some of the asylum seekers have told The Guardian they are too traumatized to return to the barge in Portland.
According to the letter some people fell ill on the barge.
The letter says: “Also in a tragic incident one of the asylum seekers attempted suicide but we acted promptly and prevented this unfortunate event. Considering the ongoing difficulties it’s not unexpected that we might face a repeat of such situations in the future.
“Some friends said they even wished they had courage to commit suicide. Our personal belief is that many of these individuals might resort to this foolishness to escape problems in the future.”
They said they were the last people to be informed about the legionella bacteria found on the barge and announced by the Home Office on 11 August.
They said their brief stay on the barge had led to a deterioration in their mental health. “Currently we are staying in an old and abandoned hotel. The sense of isolation and loneliness has taken over us and psychological and emotional pressures have increased significantly.”
The letter to Braverman concludes with a plea to consider their situation as a priority. “We are individuals who are tired of the challenges that have arisen and no longer have the strength to face them.”