The Refugee Council has called on the government to halt the removal of refused asylum seekers to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) ahead of the outcome of the country guidance review at the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal next month, and to cancel the charter flight planned for 30 August.
A judicial review of the decision to remove asylum seekers to the DRC is taking place tomorrow, Thursday 23 August in the High Court.
There have been a number of reports showing serious concerns around the return of asylum seekers to the DRC.
Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“It is astounding that the government is even considering returning asylum seekers to the Democratic Republic of Congo while there is an ongoing legal review of the situation there. This contravenes legal safeguards designed to prevent people being returned to face torture or persecution.
“We urge the government to wait until the Tribunal hands down its decision next month.”
Notes to editor
1. Justice Stanley Burton is hearing a Judicial Review of the decision to remove asylum seekers to DR Congo in the High Court from 10.00am on 23 August, expected to take one hour.
2. A charter flight to remove refused asylum seekers is expected on 30 August (known as Operation Castor)
3. “BK” case is a Country Guidance case (Appeal No. AA/04958/2006) due to heard on September 17th at the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and is intended to give guidance to Immigration Judges in assessing asylum claims by Congolese asylum seekers.
4. Donna Covey is available for interview. Contact Hannah Ward on 020 7346 1213 or firstname.lastname@example.org
5. There will be a demonstration outside the High Court tomorrow, Thursday 23 August.