Congolese Asylum-Seekers at Risk of Deportation
December 8, 2008
According to The Independent, High Court Judges have ruled that asylum-seekers from the DRC whose claim has failed should be deported. This means that approximately 5 000 people face imminent deportation.
The DRC is currently in a state of civil war, with an estimated 5 million people having been killed since 2002. Women are at particular risk, as there as been a lot of documentation of the way in which rape has been used systematically as a weapon of war. The Amnesty International 2008 report states:
“Political and military tensions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) resulted in major outbreaks of violence in the capital, Kinshasa, and Bas-Congo province. Unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the security forces and by armed groups were common across the country, in many cases directed at perceived political opponents. Rape by security force members and armed group fighters continued at high levels.”
I’m appalled that the UK government is deporting anyone to the DRC right now – this amounts to a sentence of death. I suggest writing to Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, and asking for an immediate moratorium on deportations to the DRC. I’m not sure how effective this will be – she’s never appeared particularly concerned about the plight of asylum seekers in the past. I will do research into other ways of resisting this appalling decision and post when I have more information.
In the meantime, Anxious Black Woman has written a lot about this, so head over to her blog.