Asylum: Peers in revolt

March 28, 2008 at 10:08 am | Posted in Asylum, British Politics | Leave a comment
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The case of Mehdi Kazemi and the general ill-treatment of asylum seekers in Britain seems to be provoking something more substantial than a few disgruntled grumbles. From the Independent:

Britain must radically change its immigration policy and end immediately the deportation of failed asylum-seekers who fear persecution in Iran, a group of leading peers will tell the Government today.

The call for a moratorium on asylum removals is a direct response to the plight of Mehdi Kazemi, a gay Iranian teenager facing execution if he returns to Iran, whose case has been taken up by The Independent.

In a letter written to this newspaper, 17 members of the House of Lords say the case of Mr Kazemi demonstrates a change of policy is now the “only moral course” for the Government to follow.

And in a stark warning on capital punishment in Iran, the Lords report that, in January alone, more than 30 prisoners were executed for a range of offences deemed criminal by the Middle East state.

Good for them. Interesting that it’s the Lords who are leading the charge on this case; perhaps being less susceptible to pressure from the anti-asylum press means they’re freer to act on matters of conscience.

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