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Saturday, November 13, 2004

UK: UN criticises Blunkett over Iraqi refugees

from The Independent

David Blunkett was accused last night of imposing "punitive" measures against Iraqi asylum-seekers by the United Nations' refugees agency.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees accused the Home Secretary of using coercion to force refugees to leave Britain to face life in the midst of the worsening violence in Iraq.
The UNHCR wrote to the Government last month warning that Iraq was so unstable that it could not protect Iraqis who returned to their country from European states.

The warning notice said: "UNHCR asks states to postpone the introduction of measures which are intended to induce voluntary returns, including of rejected cases. This includes financial or other incentives and particularly deterrent or punitive measures."

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