News - 10 April 2011

en - Ashamed!

The plight of Congolese asylum seekers in the UK forcibly returned to the DRC
The United Kingdom Home office does not monitor returned asylum seekers because `they are not at risk’! Who says so? The UK Home office! `Justice First’ a charity set up four years, ago thinks differently.

The plight of Congolese asylum seekers in the UK forcibly returned to the DRC
The United Kingdom Home office does not monitor returned asylum seekers because `they are not at risk’! Who says so? The UK Home office! `Justice First’ a charity set up four years, ago thinks differently.

On April 4th 2011 a meeting was called by `Justice First’ concerning Congolese asylum seekers in the UK, failed Congolese asylum seekers are forcibly removed and sent back to the Democratic republic of Congo. In 2007 Justice First helped a Congolese asylum family, followed them up on their forced return and found that they had been tortured and the children arrested with the parents. They discovered that 100% of the returnees are abused in some way. Even some of the voluntary returnees have been arrested and the money given to them removed. There was a case of one woman in a wheelchair accompanied by two small children who was assaulted. She went into hiding for 13 months. She was then advised to go to a NGO only to be arrested and put in detention where she was raped weekly.She eventually managed to flee to Egypt. One of the solicitors present at the meeting declared it was not safe for any asylum seeker to return to the Congo. A Congolese asylum seeker also present at the meeting intervened to say he was able to verify from first hand experience and that what was being said about returnees was true. In 2005 he had worked at Kinshasa airport and had seen people beaten and tortured. Returnees are often afraid to speak up about their treatment because frequently they are infiltrated by spies from the government.

Those present agreed to continue petitioning the UK government, MPS etc. The organisations present agreed to try and work together to get better conditions for asylum seekers and to stop forcible removal and amongst other things trying to keep contact with returned asylum seekers.It is far better to get clients good solicitors early on before it gets to the stage of forcible removal. Also to form a google discussion group to continue the conversation. Evidence of the maltreatment of returnees needs to be collected. “Country experts” who can witness to the lack of safety in the country of origin, Congo or Zimbabwe or other, are needed to help stop removals.

Sr Jessica r.a.

United Kingdom.