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Friday, October 29, 2004

Malta: Detaining asylum seekers ‘gives rise to xenophobia and racism’

from Malta Independent Daily:

The detention of asylum seekers violates their right to freedom and incites racism among the population, and therefore other solutions must be found, Fr Pierre Grech Marguerat of the Jesuit Refugee Service said yesterday.
Fr Grech Marguerat said the JRS does not agree with the government’s policy of detaining illegal immigrants. “It does not act as a deterrent, it does not help in establishing people’s identity; instead it criminalises them, normalises exclusion and administrative imprisonment – which also sparks xenophobia and racism – and is an enormous financial burden,” he said. He said it was gravely worrying that detention has been shifted from being a means to facilitate the removal of designated individuals to becoming a reception policy for all.

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