Tag Archives: asylum seekers

The Shame of Britain’s Asylum Policy

For hundreds of years Great Britain has been home to thousands of activitists who fled their homeland in search of a port of refuge. But, a new report by the Independent Asylum Commission has issued a searing indictment of the Home Office’s failure to deal fairly with those applying for sanctuary in Great Britain. The commission found the nation’s treatment of asylum seekers “falls seriously below the standards to be expected of a humane and civilised country.” The Home Office apparently is confused regarding its own policy and there is a “lack of access to legal advice for aplicants” which frequently results in unjust decisions about their desire for safety. Three areas of concern include: the use of detention centers which often find torture victims, women and children incarcerated under terrible conditions, the use of force against detainees, and the use of destitution to force people to leave.

Among the most painful episodes in this story of failure is an inability to recognize that many asylum seekers are suffering from post traumatic stress having been brutalized in their home nations and now find themselves once again treated in an inhumane manner. The report took special note of many rape victims who initially felt unable to discuss the experience and their plight became overlooked in the final decision. Cuts in the budget have also meant there are insufficient legal advisers for sanctuary seekers and not enough psychological services.

Many of us raised in the Western world always looked to Great Britain as a model of hope for oppressed people and this report can only sicken those concerned about human rights abuses.

The Shame Of Great Britain-No Room Here!

The British government is prepared to initiate action that will result in the forced deportation of thousands of Zimbabwean refugees who have fled the oppressive regime of Robert Mugabe in search of freedom and security. Leltters have been sent by the Home Office which bluntly inform people they are no longer welcome to reside in Great Britain. “Your claim for asylum hs been refused…I am not writing to make sure you know that the Border & Immigration Agency is expecting shortly to be able to enforce returns to Zimbabwe. The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal has now found that there is no general risk on return for failed asylum-seekrs. You have exhausted your rights of appeal and have no other basis of stay in the UK. You should now make plans to return home.”

The letters represent a complete reversal of what Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been saying about Mugabe whom he considers to be a dictator an heads an oppressive regime. Brown has refused to attend conferences which invite Mugabe and proclaimed to the world: “The message should go out to anyone facing persecution anywhere from Burma to Zimbabwe: human rights are universal and no injustice can last for ever.”

It appears the message of human rights being sent by the British prime minister is not being received by members of his own government. On one hand, Brown is declaring to the world there is an absence of human rights in Zimbabwe, and, on the other hand, his own agencies are telling people there is nothing to fear back home in Zimbabwe. Which is the real message?

Asylum Seekers In UK Abused Claims Newspaper Investigation

The Independent of England conducted an investigation of what happened to people seeking asylum in the United Kingdom who lost their appeal for sanctuary. The newspaper’s conclusion is “hundreds of failed asylum seekers deported from the United Kingdom have been beaten and racially abused by British escort teams who are paid to take them back to their home countries.” The Independent examined over 200 dossiers of cases dealing with asylum seekers during the past two years and repeatedly discovered abusive treatment of people who were being forced to return to certain beatings, torture or even death in their home countries. Our investigation says The Independent, “has unearthed shocking claims of physical abuse and mental mistreatment of some of the most vulnerable people in our asylum system.”

The Independent study reveals England is now drawing upon private security firms to handle cases like deporting failed asylum seekers. In every case where mistreatment and use of verbal insults like “black monkeys” the culprits were members of these private companies. As in Iraq, private companies are now doing the work of trained military and police officials, and the evidence increasingly suggests they are unprofessional in their behavior. Ironically, hundreds of years ago, private groups handled police functions in England until the Bobbies were established in the 1820s. We have now gone backwards, not forwards in professionalization of police functions. Planes carrying these unfortunate people leave on Wednesday morning on Flight KQ101 — in George Orwell’s book, “1984″ interrogation of prisoners takes place in room 101.