Glasgow, Scotland — A Home Office investigation has been launched after a refugee mother was found dead at a flat in Glasgow next to her malnourished baby.
It is thought 34-year-old Mercy Baguma’s leave to remain in the UK had expired meaning she was unable to work.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “This is a tragic situation and our condolences go to Ms Baguma’s family.
“The Home Office takes the wellbeing of all those in the asylum system extremely seriously, and we will be conducting a full investigation into Ms Baguma’s case.”
Baguma, from Uganda, was found dead by police after they heard her son’s crying from outside her flat on Saturday.
Friends raised the alarm when she had not been heard from since Tuesday. Detectives say the cause of her death is unexplained but not suspicious.
The baby boy was rushed to hospital for treatment but was released yesterday, reports GlasgowLive.
The child’s father is now caring for him elsewhere in the city.
Refugee charity Positive Action in Housing said Ms Baguma lived in “extreme poverty” and had contacted them several weeks ago saying she did not have enough money to support herself.
Her child was “weakened from several days of starvation”, according to Robina Qureshi, the charity’s director.
Ms Qureshi said: “Why are mothers and babies being left to go hungry in this city, and why is it being left to charities and volunteers to pick up the pieces?”
She added: “Would this mother be alive if she was not forced out of her job by this cruel system that stops you from working and paying your way because a piece of paper says your leave to remain has expired?
“I’m sure Mercy’s son will want to ask this and other questions once he is old enough.”
A friend of Mercy has set up a GoFundMe appeal to raise funds for her infant son and to cover the costs of her funeral.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police received a report of the sudden death of a 34-year-old woman within a property on Kennedar Drive in Glasgow around 11.30am on Saturday, August 22.
“The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not suspicious. A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”