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'Returnees at risk' says TAG

In a report published on Sunday, rights groups TAG (Tamils Against Genocide), called for a 'comprehensive re-evaluation of the UK government's current policy towards asylum applicants' of Tamils from the island of Sri Lanka. Publishing 27 recent asylum appeal determinations, with extensive analysis, TAG highlighted that 26 of the 27 claims were of egregious torture, and were "found credible under the most stringent adversarial review".

See here for report in full.

Extracts of Judicial Opinions contained with TAG's report are reproduced below:

Case 15 The appellant resembled a British Tamil who had protested to call for an independent international enquiry into war crimes in Sri Lanka. In a case of mistaken identity he was detained, interrogated about this protest [which he had not participated in] and subsequently tortured. Finding  “Background material relating to Sri Lanka and the expert's report and previous case law all confirm that Sri Lanka is a country where corruption of officials is rife and the circumstances of the appellant's detention and the subsequent release through bribery and the assistance given for him to leave the airport after being tortured whilst incredible in the context of many regimes is not incredible in the context of what happens in Sri Lanka, even after the final onslaught against the LTTE. I conclude that the appellant is a truthful witness. I accept his account as credible in its entirety.” [emphasis by TAG]

 Case 23 “One matters continues to trouble me. That is that this is the fourth Sri Lankan case that I have heard in the past month where the facts are essentially the same. A young Tamil in London returns to Sri Lanka… (and)… is picked up at or after the airport by a white van, is questioned about his activities in London and horribly tortured, leaving … terrible burns to the back and/ or buttocks. The man is released on payment of a bribe, is dropped off with a Muslim agent who then secures his safe passage through the airport at Colombo. The striking similarity of these cases has caused me great concern. Either the Sri Lankan authorities are suddenly extremely interested in the activities of the diaspora in London, or this account is being offered as a "package to asylum seekers hoping to secure refugee status. Either of these options is extremely depressing. … If the CID are routinely arresting those arriving from London and subjecting them to this hitherto unknown level of torture, leaving such unambiguous evidence, then their audacity is breath-taking; it marks a turn for the worse in the already appalling human rights record of their country." [emphasis by TAG]

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