UK: Tony Blair sends refugees to possible torture and death

Blair's friends, the US Bush administration, and torture, cartoon by Steve Bell

By Barry Mason:

UK government steps up assault on asylum-seekers

17 February 2007

The British Labour government is ratcheting up the pressure on asylum-seekers and refugees in Britain.

Deportations are being pursued regardless of the consequences for the deportees.

This policy reflects an increasingly belligerent government attitude towards refugees.

Some cases recently highlighted include:

* Two 18-year-old Jewish sisters, Kamila and Karina Kaya, who are currently being held at the Yarl’s Wood detention centre.

They had fled Kyrgyzstan in 2003 after their parents had been killed (murder is suspected).

The twins, who had settled in Birmingham, were doing well at college and hoping to become doctors.

According to the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC), they have been given a temporary reprieve subject to a juridical review.

They are, however, still held at Yarl’s Wood and according to friends and supporters showing signs of extreme distress.

* Two Algerian men recently sent back to Algeria.

Amnesty International (AI), the human rights group, has raised concerns for their safety.

They had been held in custody in Britain from 2001 to 2004 under the anti-terrorism act.

They were never charged and were released after the Law Lords (Britain’s supreme court) ruled that detention without trial was illegal.

After release, they were subject to close supervision.

On arrival in Algeria, the men were arrested by the Algerian military police, the DRS.

The British director of AI, Kate Allen, said, “We are deeply concerned about that these men are at risk of torture….

[T]hese men have been labelled ‘suspected international terrorists’ by the UK authorities, they were always at risk of torture and should have never been returned to Algeria.”

* Alnour Yousif Fasher was due to be deported back to Darfur in Sudan on January 22.
Fasher, from a prominent family, is a member of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) opposed to the Sudanese government.

The government plans to send back other refugees from Darfur in the Sudan.

Story of a deported and tortured refugee from Darfur: here.

Deportation from Jordan: here.

Robert Fisk on Blair and the Iraq war: here.

Blairite minister Hodge’s anti-refugee racism: here.

8 thoughts on “UK: Tony Blair sends refugees to possible torture and death

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