Deporting Afghans presents no ‘real risk of harm’, says Home Office guidance

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Deporting asylum seekers back to Afghanistan presents “no real risk of harm”, according to new Home Office guidance, which could pave the way for some to be deported back to the Taliban-controlled country.

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The 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 other than simply being a citizen to be affected by indiscriminate violence”.

It comes just weeks after Britain staged a major military operation to rescue thousands of people from Kabul as the country came under the control of terrorists.


Campaigners said it was “perverse and immoral” that the government was leaving room for people seeking protection to be sent back to Afghanistan, warning that the guidance failed to “reflect the situation on the ground” and ” Many overlooked threats to basic human rights”.

A spokesperson for the Home Office told Granthshala that it was not enforcing the return to Afghanistan for those who were refused asylum – although lawyers said this is “contrary” with new guidance that indicates it is safe to return people could.

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The country’s guidance, an update on the previous version – which was removed by the Home Office in mid-August after the Taliban escalated – claims that indiscriminate violence in Afghanistan is “not at such a high level that it is normally a real risk”. Represents damages” to those sent back there.

It added that it is “open to the question of whether the situation of international or internal armed conflict persists” and that “should there be indiscriminate violence, it is only in certain areas of Afghanistan and to a much lesser extent the Taliban’s takeover.” after “.

It comes amid growing concern over the Taliban regime in Afghanistan since the group took power on August 15, with several reports of human rights abuses sweeping the country in recent weeks.

Amnesty International said this week that the Taliban had killed 13 people from the Hazara community, including a teenage girl, in a single massacre since its takeover of Afghanistan in August.

Detention Action director Bela Sankey said it was “perverse and immoral” to consider the government’s refusal to provide protection to the people of Afghanistan.

“It is only a matter of weeks before the murderous Taliban regime has returned to the country, and this government has rushed to rescue thousands of British civilians and Afghans from danger,” he said.

“Since then, Taliban henchmen have gone door to door, killing and banishing those who do not support their autocratic ideology. The country is not safe and the UK needs to recognize that it protects those who have fled. By doing.”

Sabir Zazai, chief executive of the Scottish Refugee Council, said it was “shameful” that the guidance portrayed Afghanistan as “safe” for some and argued that it “does not correspond to the reality of life” in the country. Many ignore the “threat to basic human rights of Afghans”.

“There are many people whose lives may be at risk for a variety of reasons, which guidance cannot cover. Afghanistan is simply not safe. The people of Afghanistan currently going through the asylum system should be given refugee status,” They said.

There are currently over 3,000 live asylum applications from Afghan nationals in the UK. Ministers have been warned that these people have been mired in a “nightmare” since the Taliban takeover in their home country, but have refused to heed mounting calls to give them the right to stay in Britain permanently. Have given.

The Home Office guidance acknowledges that there are “potentially vulnerable groups” including those working with international military forces, women, LGBT people and ethnic and religious minorities who should be entitled to asylum in the UK.

Asylum lawyer Alasdair Mackenzie said this was “welcome”, but said it was unclear how these groups would be defined, and warned that many people at risk from the Taliban may not fit into one of these categories. Huh.

He continued: “Sadly, the document leaves room for the Home Office to deport people back to Afghanistan, which should be unthinkable at this point in time. […] It is difficult to understand the Home Office’s reluctance to give asylum to all Afghans currently in the UK. “

A Home Office spokesman said: “Anyone at risk of persecution or serious harm in Afghanistan will not be expected to return to the country and we are not enforcing return to Afghanistan for those denied asylum. and who have exhausted all rights of appeal.

“All asylum and human rights claims, including Afghan citizens, are considered on their personal merits in accordance with our international obligations.”

Responding to the department’s claims that there is no return to Afghanistan, immigration lawyer Sonia Lenagan said: “The Home Office should grant these people leave to remain in the UK, rather than being confined without status for an undisclosed period. unable to work and often rely on asylum aid.”


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