A Cameroonian torture claimant who has been living on the street and eating food leftovers in wholesale markets in Hong Kong pending consideration of his asylum application has launched a judicial review against the government. The 27-year-old man, identified in court only as 'D', has been in Hong Kong since 2003. He filed a claim with the Director of Immigration under the Convention Against Torture, which binds Hong Kong, in September that year seeking asylum. His case is one of five being filed against the Director of Social Welfare by torture claimants seeking subsistence-level support from the government while their applications, which can take years to process, are being considered. The five cases involve 12 individuals, including two families, D's solicitor Mark Daly said. Asylum seekers and torture claimants are not permitted to work and receive no allowances or guarantee of accommodation from the government. D was detained in Victoria Prison until October 2004 and since his release has been 'homeless and destitute', his lawyer, Philip Dykes SC, told the Court of First Instance yesterday. 'The Hong Kong government has a responsibility that people here should not have to live with degrading treatment,' Mr Dykes said. 'But he has been living on the streets and begging for food.' Mr Dykes said the first offer of accommodation from the Social Welfare Department came only after D was granted leave for the judicial review. A second offer was made last week, days before the case was due to be heard. But he told the court the offer was made for him to live in a shelter intended only for women and children and questioned its suitability. Counsel for the Social Welfare Department disagreed, saying there were at least two men living at the shelter. Judge Anselmo Reyes adjourned the case, asking counsel to investigate and file affidavits.