The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

There's Got to Be a Fairer Way to Treat Asylum Seekers

Well, here's a thing: despite the famous restraining and civilising influence exerted in Daveybloke's Cuddly Coalition by Wee Nicky and his Deputy Conservatives, the Government is still happily deporting people to countries which hold staunchly to New Labour values on matters such as detention without trial, torture and accidental death in custody. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Freedom from Torture all say there is evidence that Tamils who are forced to return to Sri Lanka are undergoing the local variety of extraordinary rendition; naturally, from the viewpoint of the Foreign Office and the UK Border Agency this constitutes an eminently satisfactory situation. The Border Agency has even taken the trouble to ask Sri Lanka's secret police chiefs whether there was any truth in the allegations of torture; naturally, any minds the Border Agency may have were quickly set at rest: "They denied this was the case and added that many Sri Lankans who had claimed asylum abroad had inflicted wounds on themselves in order to create scars to support their stories." Asylum seekers are cunning fiends, as we know; certainly they must run rings around the Border Agency, whose incompetence in lying about its own humanitarian arrangements appears to rival that of the Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club. Lawyers acting for deportees were told that the responsibility for monitoring the welfare of Britain's ejected had been subcontracted to an organisation called the International Organisation for Migration; the lawyers, with fiendish cunning, then went and asked the International Organisation for Migration whether the Border Agency had spoken true. The Border Agency then admitted the actual extent of its interest in whether the people it deports are in genuine need of asylum: "Individuals are provided with the contact details of the high commission in Colombo and may contact them if they require any assistance." We must hope that the high commission in Colombo isn't too soft a touch.


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