Anorak News | Johnny Rotten Foreigner

Johnny Rotten Foreigner

by | 9th, February 2004

‘THERE is an old political maxim that the Government treats foreigners how it would treat its own citizens if it could get away with it.

The new seekers

In which case, the people of Britain should be afraid, very afraid.

New figures published in the Independent suggest that the Home Office is getting one on five asylum applications wrong. For applicants from some countries, the figure is almost two in five.

For instance, Amnesty International research suggests that between July and September of last year, 39% of initial asylum applications from Somalia and 29% from Zimbabwe were rejected, only to be overturned on appeal.

And the human rights group accused the department of a “staggering lack of accurate information about the situations asylum seekers are fleeing from”.

“Getting an asylum decision wrong is not like a clerical error on a tax bill,” says Kate Allen, UK director of Amnesty.

“Wrongly refusing someone’s claim could mean returning them to face torture or execution.”

For instance, an Algerian who claimed to have been raped and tortured with soapy rags stuffed in her mouth was told that this was not evidence of persecution.

And a Syrian’s claim was rejected because the Home Office wrongly denied the existence of an opposition group.

Meanwhile, Prince Charles is in Iran to show Britain’s solidarity with a regime that has just banned thousands of reformist candidates from standing in next month’s general election.

“Why has he come now, just as our democracy has come under attack?” one shopkeeper asked in the Times. “He should have stayed away to show his support.”

Another was disappointed with the identity of the visitor, saying: “I came over because I heard Tony Blair had come. What power does Prince Charles have?”

Not enough, sadly, even to squeeze his own toothpaste out of the tube.’

Posted: 9th, February 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink