Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Deportation delayed after last gasp court order

The deportation of around 50 Tamils to Sri Lanka was halted today after frantic last minute efforts by lawyers resulted in a postponement in their removal, and the complete overturn of one woman’s case.

The decision, just hours before their scheduled departure, comes as the UK faces intense criticism from human rights groups such as Amnesty International for sending Tamil asylum seekers back to Sri Lanka, where they face the risk of interrogation and torture

See report from Channel 4 below.

In a statement released today, Amnesty said,

“[I]t is hugely disappointing that Britain is continuing to remove people to an uncertain fate.

What we do know though is that the British government has a responsibility under international law to protect people at risk of torture and should not remove them if there is a threat.”

One woman’s case was completely overturned, after it was ruled that the UK Border Agency had violated both British and European law by disclosing sensitive information to the Sri Lankan authorities that could place her in greater danger if she was to return.

Government sources further conceded that they may have disclosed similar potentially sensitive information about 14 Tamil asylum seekers “inadvertently”, but insisted that none of them have been deported.

The development comes as the Guardian reported that no monitoring of the safety of deported asylum seekers is being done by the UK government.

The only measure being taken was simply to give the deportees the telephone number and address of the British high commission in Colombo.

See our earlier posts:

'UK still 'complicit' in torture of Tamils' (Sep 2011)

'Delhi court halts deportation for fear of genocide'
(Sep 2011)

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.