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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

UK: Halt Zimbabwe removals says judge

From BBC News:

A senior UK judge has urged the government to halt all removals of failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe pending a further High Court hearing.

The call comes after a Refugee Legal Council representative said there was evidence to suggest asylum seekers faced being abused in Zimbabwe. They were in danger because they had claimed asylum in the UK, he said.


In a statement to Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Clarke said 33 failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers were on hunger strike, although campaigners say it is many more.


During the case, the judge condemned the deportation of a Zimbabwean woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons and who was now "in hiding" after being flown to Harare. ... The judge said: "How anyone could fail to appreciate the significance of a fax from the Home Office telling them removal directions had been cancelled frankly escapes me.

"Even a half-wit would understand. All I can say is that I sincerely hope nothing like this ever happens again."

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