An asylum seeker has frozen to death in the “world’s most liveable city” after he wound up living on the streets following a five-year stint in a cramped hovel with five others.
The man, identified only as Irfan A., 36, because of local privacy laws, had fled to Austria from Iraq where he applied for asylum five years ago. His application was initially rejected and he had appealed the decision.
After arriving in Vienna, he was placed in an apartment with five others where he became increasingly frustrated at the cramped conditions.
All of the others were of different nationalities, and after moving out on 18th December, he managed to briefly find accommodation with friends sleeping on a sofa, but he eventually ended up on the streets.
He has now frozen to death and his body will now be sent back to his homeland without any final decision ever being made about his asylum application.
Politician Omar Al-Rawi from the Social Democrats who serves on the Vienna city council said it was a sign that something needed to be done.
He said the applications for asylum are taking too long and in that time applicants were deprived often of even basic needs.
He added that in clear cases where there are signs of distress, on humanitarian grounds alone the government should grant permission to stay.
Vienna was voted the world’s most liveable city in 2019 and various studies regularly list the Austrian capital as the best place to live in the world.
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