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Deporting asylum seekers back to Afghanistan presents 'no real risk of harm' says UK Home Office

Deporting asylum seekers back to Afghanistan presents "no real risk of harm", according to new Home Office guidance that could pave the way for asylum seekers to be sent back to the Taliban controlled country. 

Updated guidance, states that in order to be granted protection in the UK, Afghan asylum seekers must be able to show that there are "specific reasons over and above simply being a civilian for being affected by the indiscriminate violence". The Independent reports that campaigners commented on the "perverse and immoral" stance that the government had taken, leaving scope for people seeking protection to be sent back to Afghanistan, warning that guidance failed to "reflect the situation on the ground" and "ignored many threats to basic human rights ".

The updated Home Office guidance claims that indiscriminate violence in Afghanistan is "not at such a high level that it represents, in general, a real risk of harm" to people sent back there. It further states that it is "open to question as to whether there continues to be a situation of international of internal armed conflict"  and that "should indiscriminate violence be taking place, it is only in some areas of Afghanistan and is yo a far lesser extent following the Taliban takeover". 

Sabir Zazai, Chief executive of the Scottish Refugee Council, said it was "shameful" that the guidance portrayed Afghanistan as being "safe" for some and argued that it did "not conform with the reality of life" in the country. There are currently more than 3,000 live asylum applications from Afghan nationals in the UK. The home office is notoriously known for delaying asylum cases and often leaving applicants in "limbo".

Earlier this year The Guardian reported on A Tamil man who had arrived in the UK almost 40 years ago remains in immigration limbo due to a series of Home Office failures and delays. 

Ponnambalam Jothibala, 69, came to the UK as a student in 1983. Though he was granted periods of temporary leave to remain in the 1980s, his studies were halted after he was the victim of a traumatic arson attack in which three people died but which he survived by jumping out of a first-floor window.

Read more here: Tamil man left in limbo for decades by UK Home Office failures

Read more at The Independent

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