In response to the judgement on a test case by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal on the policy of returning failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe, the Refugee Council issued the following statement:
“The Refugee Council is very pleased that the Tribunal has ruled that it is unsafe for the government to deport asylum-seekers to Zimbabwe. The government must not resume the policy of returning failed asylum-seekers to Zimbabwe until the situation there has significantly improved.
Maeve Sherlock, Chief Executive, said:
“We are delighted by this ruling – it is sensible and humane. The ruling backs up what the Refugee Council has said all along – the government has failed to recognise the real dangers faced by people forced to return to that country. There has been plenty of evidence that they are subject to further abuse on their return because they are regarded as traitors by the Mugabe regime. Even if someone is not accepted by our government as being a refugee, we must not send them back into the sort of danger they would face in Zimbabwe.”
“Ministers will have to look very seriously at the judges’ frankly scathing comments about how the government monitors the safety of people returned to Zimbabwe. We hope also that the government will understand that the dangers faced by people being forcibly returned to Zimbabwe are also faced by those removed to other countries with vicious regimes and unstable governments – and we call on them to always put the safety of people above beating targets for removals.”
For further information contact press office:
Bob Deffee 020 7346 1213 (Switchboard: 0207 346 6700). For urgent or out of hours inquiries ring 0870 0555500 & ask for pager 865169.