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Deportation halt widely welcomed

Welcoming the High Court ruling halting the deportation of Tamil asylum seekers from the UK on Thursday, David Mepham, the UK director of Human Rights Watch said,

"This is a very dramatic development. It is incredibly welcome that a High Court judge has recognised the serious risk facing failed Tamil asylum-seekers.

"This should be a wakeup call for the British government. Its existing policy towards Sri Lanka is fundamentally flawed and needs to be seriously re-thought."

The ruling by Justice Eady has been widely welcomed by barristers representing similar clients, who have cautiously suggested it has wider applications.

Speaking to Channel 4 News, one barrister said,

"It’s not a blanket order, but we believe it’s applicable to each and every Sri Lankan Tamil who has ever been involved in politics or has past associations with the [now defeated] Tamil Tigers."

Another said,

"One of my clients was on the verge of being put on the bus to the airport. He and another failed asylum-seeker were taken off the bus. Another of my clients, was already at the airport and was taken off the plane."

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