World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN: Sri Lanka deports families seek asylum

UN Refugee Agency alarmed as Sri Lanka deports families seeking asylum

12 August 2014

The United Nations refugee agency today expressed alarm that recent deportations of asylum-seekers from Sri Lanka back to Pakistan were growing in size and scope despite international calls to stop sending them back to a place where their lives could be in danger.

“In all, 88 Pakistanis had been sent home since 1 August. Initially, those deportees had been men previously placed into detention, but now whole families were being deported,” Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) told reporters in Geneva today.

“UNHCR is seriously concerned at these deportations, including of families and vulnerable people whose international protection needs have not been assessed.

By sending these people back, the Government of Sri Lanka is in breach of its obligations under international law concerning the principle of no-forced-returns, or non-refoulement,” he stated.

Mr. Edwards noted that the first cases happened on 3 August, when a detained man had been sent back to Pakistan, followed two days later by his wife and daughter, picked up from their home. A family of six was sent back last Saturday, followed by another couple and two siblings yesterday. In all, there are now 11 women and eight children among the deported.

Those families had been told to go to Colombo airport, where they had been placed on flights to Pakistan. Some of the latest deportees had their passports and asylum-seeker certificates seized the previous week.

“Our staff has also heard about families becoming separated as a result of deportation – including a man sent home over a week ago and whose pregnant wife remains in Sri Lanka,” he said adding that the recent developments have heightened anxiety among the refugee and asylum-seeker population in Sri Lanka.

Many are even afraid to leave their homes for fear of arrest, detention and deportation.

According to UNHCR guidelines issued to governments and other decision makers on eligibility of asylum claims, members of religious minorities including the Ahmadiyya Muslim, Christian and Shia minority communities in Pakistan, may be in need of international protection and require particularly careful examination of their asylum claims.

In addition, UNHCR reiterated its call to the Government of Sri Lanka to stop deportations immediately and to grant access to asylum seekers in detention so that its staff can assess their needs for international protection. Some 157 asylum seekers, including 84 Pakistanis, 71 Afghans and 2 Iranians remain in detention in the country.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The French Election Result

Macron is shaping as the third major test case, after Bill Clinton, after Tony Blair – on whether the aim of ‘progressive social policy’ and realities of ‘neo-liberal economic settings’ can be made to credibly co-exist within the same sentence, let alone within the decrees from the Elysee Palace. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Snap Election In Britain

The election call is entirely opportunistic and self-serving and will – regardless of the outcome – put Britain in a worse negotiating position for managing its Brexit. More>>

Turkey: Observers Say Erdogan’s Constitutional Referendum Flawed

Lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms created unlevel playing field in Turkey’s constitutional referendum, international observers say. More>>

ALSO:

Westminster: NZ PM Condemns London Attack

“London is a place many thousands of New Zealanders have visited and called home, and where many more have friends and family based, so this attack feels very close to home,” Mr English says. More>>

ALSO:

Amnesty: Campaign Mass Hangings And Extermination At Syrian Prison

A chilling new report by Amnesty International exposes the Syrian government’s calculated campaign of extrajudicial executions by mass hangings at Saydnaya Prison. Between 2011 and 2015, every week and often twice a week, groups of up to 50 people ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news