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Migrants Wears Wristbands To Identify Them In Cardiff


Asylum seekers in Cardiff will no longer have to wear wristbands to identify them.

The Home Office contractor behind the scheme replaced the bands with photographic ID after they were compared to the Star of David badge Jewish people had to wear under the Nazis.

Some asylum seekers said they had faced abuse from other people because of the wristbands given to people staying at Lynx House by Clearsprings Ready Homes

They were told that if they refused to wear them, they may be refused food.

The Welsh refugee council told Sky News: ‘It harks back to the Nazi regime with people being forced to wear a Star of David and stand out.

‘It’s absolutely appalling; it is treating people like lesser beings. It is treating them like animals lining up to feed.’

Refugees and migrants arrive on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey on November 6, 2015. Lesbos lies on the frontline of a massive migration wave that has swept over Europe, with over 700,000 people crossing the Mediterranean in search of sanctuary this year. Of the 218,000 migrants and refugees who took to the sea in October, 210,000 landed in Greece, mostly in Lesbos. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINISARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images

Eric Ngalle, 36, spent a month at Lynx House in Cardiff before being granted refugee status in November 2015. Now he works as a writer, and is working on a theatre production with the Arts Council of Wales.

‘My time in Lynx House was one of the most horrible experiences in my life,’ he told the Guardian. ‘I hated wearing the wristbands and sometimes refused to wear them and was turned away from food.’

Refugees wait to register on January 16, 2016 in Passau, southern Germany. Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble raised the prospect of introducing a tax on petrol in Europe to pay for solving the migrant crisis, in remarks to the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. / AFP / dpa / Armin Weigel / Germany OUTARMIN WEIGEL/AFP/Getty Images

Refugees wait to register in Passau, southern Germany 

Ngalle said they had to walk for at least 10 minutes from their accommodation to get food at Lynx House, and their wristbands would be on show. If the bands are removed, they cannot be resealed back onto the wrist – meaning there is no way to take them off in public.

‘Sometimes drivers would see our wristbands, start honking their horns and shout out of the window, “Go back to your country”.’

Syrian refugee families, not staying at Lynx House, arriving at the Isle of Bute in Scotland (Picture: Getty Images)

Syrian refugee families, not staying at Lynx House, arriving at the Isle of Bute in Scotland 

Maher, 41, also said he felt very conspicuous with the band on: ‘We feel we are not equal with this community. All the time I tried to hide the band so people could not see it.’

And Mogden Abdeen, a 24-year-old human rights activist from Sudan who spent three months at Lynx House at the end of last year, said the wristband ‘is discrimination, clear and simple. No band, no food. We are made to feel that we are second-class humans’.

Refugees and migrants onboard a dinghy arrive at the village of Skala, on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016. More than a million people reached Europe in 2015 in the continent's largest refugee influx since the end of World War II. Nearly 3,800 people are estimated to have drowned in the Mediterranean last year, making the journey to Greece or Italy in unseaworthy vessels packed far beyond capacity. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)