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Asylum seekers from Zimbabwe


Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

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When the Daily Mail starts trumpeting the cause of failed asylum seekers, it’s clear that something is seriously wrong. The issue at hand is the proposed deportation of a hundred failed asylum seekers from Zimbabwe, back to Robert Mugabe’s deplorable regime, where they will almost certainly be presumed to be British spies. They have been on hunger strike now for six days, in protest against their deportation. The Mail is against their deportation (quote from today’s Wrap):

Mail readers who are accustomed to the paper’s demands for a crackdown on asylum seekers may have to pinch themselves today. “FOR PITY’S SAKE LET THEM STAY,” splashes the paper. “How, in all conscience, can the Home Office deport more than 100 Zimbabweans to face torture at the hands of Mugabe’s evil regime?”

Three Zimbabweans involved in the opposition Movement for Democratic Change describe the torture they suffered under President Mugabe’s regime. The Mail wants to know why they are not allowed to remain in Britain while “hundreds of thousands of other would-be refugees” whose asylum applications have been refused are allowed to stay.

The difficulty here is that the asylum seekers are unable to prove that they personally are at risk of persecution. The political difficulty is that one can’t let one set of asylum seekers that don’t meet the necessary criteria stay, whilst deporting others in similar situations. Except, there have been special rules on Zimbabwe for a number of years now, preventing the deportation of failed asylum seekers. Up until the last few days, I wasn’t aware that this rule had been removed, and I can’t begin to understand why it has been changed: The situation in Zimbabwe is clearly not improving, so why remove the protection these people have been offered for so long?

Regular readers will know that I’m incredibly cynical, but is it going too far to question whether this rule was removed in order to improve the figures on deportation of failed asylum seekers in the run-up to a General Election? I have looked around quite a bit, and can’t find any other reason for the decision. But the Prime Minister’s press conference is just beginning – let’s hope that someone asks the pertinent question, and then we might know.

This 646th post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics.

More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 6th November 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 5th October 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 3rd September 2017)

More from the Parish (published 7th March 2004)

Where poverty means living on just £3 a month (published 15th January 2005)

Photo-a-day 328: Another of Wendy’s talents (published 24th November 2012)

Of applications’ independence from devices (published 26th January 2010)

Comments and responses

Comment from Anonymous

by Anonymous

Comment posted at 19:32 on 3rd August 2006.

2002 Dave Blunkett halted deportations to Zimbabwe depending outcome of the presidential elections of which Zanu pf regime won.The British seems to be paying a deaf ear to Zimbabweans.The situation there has gone from worse to deep worse all Zimbabweans do is hopeful pray that one day the hand of God will come sweep away those responsible for all this suffering.There was a time we put hope and faith in Britain but our hoes have been shattered.Is there a way the British government can do sort of an inquiry or a referrendum to find out how many of their citizens agree with Zimbabweans being sent in river full of crocodiles, meaning a place where survival rate is less than 1%.

Comment from putju

by putju

Comment posted at 18:41 on 15th April 2007.

for my own opinion about the situation of deportation on zimbabwe. england think if it was you in that case i will say like the first person who say seems like you close your ears deaf to the situation of zimbambwe why cant you think uk you may not know your tomorow how many times you keep on deporting people how painfull it is think about that please do to other what you want them to do to you , you have been everywhere in africa but today seems like you forget about that . please be mercyfull to others as well you whoever who deport people my dear brother or sister think twice i love you uk godbless you believe me or not

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