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Asylum seekers from Zimbabwe


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 15 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 15 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and write about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 15 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

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 645th post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics.

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Comments and responses

Comment from Anonymous

    19.32, 03/08/2006

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

    18.41, 15/04/2007

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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