Cross-party support for our call to end deportations to abuse-linked countries

Shadow Home Secretary leads demands to suspend Dublin Regulation transfers from the UK

This week we highlighted how Britain may use the EU’s Dublin Regulation to deport people to EU member states they claim have abused them — including beatings, waterboardings and imprisonment in cages.

Senior figures from across political parties, including Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott as well as Green leader Jonathan Bartley and SNP migration spokesman Stuart McDonald, are supporting our call to end Dublin transfers following our report, “Roads to Nowhere”, which lays bare the harrowing experiences of Syrian and other refugees crossing Europe. You can read the report here, and interviews with those who took part in Buzzfeed and the Guardian.

The Dublin Regulation stipulates that asylum seekers are the responsibility of the EU Member State in which they first arrive. Exemptions on transfers of refugees under the Dublin Regulation expired on March 15, putting hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK (and across Europe) at risk.

The testimonies in ‘Roads to Nowhere’ report identify serious mistreatment in multiple EU member states, as well as inflexibility at the UK Home Office, who have often left people waiting on a decision for years. They explain how an inefficient system has contributed to mental and physical health problems and exacerbated the traumas that caused them to seek refuge initially.

A petition to the Government to end Dublin transfers is being launched. We will also go to Brussels on Monday 20 February to call on European legislators to abolish the Dublin Regulation and replace it with a more humane system.

Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said: “In spite of Brexit, it is likely that the Government will continue to use EU rules to send refugees back to countries where they claim to have been held in cages, waterboarded and handcuffed to beds.”

“The heartbreaking testimonies from refugees that have surfaced this week are a shocking indictment of how we are letting down people fleeing some of the world’s most desperate circumstances.”

“The Government cannot continue to kick the can down the road. Labour is calling on the Home Secretary to suspend transfers carried out under the EU’s Dublin Regulation in order to guarantee the safety of hundreds of people currently resident in Britain who risk being uprooted once again, and who have been denied a say in their future.”

Diane Abbott, Jon Bartley and Stuart McDonald

Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley said:

“It is a disgrace that these refugees have fled war and persecution in their home countries only to be abused and incarcerated in Europe. Migrant Voice’s research is full of harrowing stories and it is time we started listening.

“If the UK Government continues to deport asylum seekers to countries where they have been tortured and locked up then it is complicit in this brutality. It is shameful the suspension of transfers of refugees to other EU countries is ending without a proper plan in place.

“The UK’s response to the refugee crisis has been woeful and we are letting down people who thought they would be safe here. We’re calling for the Dubs scheme to be reinstated and the family reunification rules to be widened so families can stay together in the UK. The asylum system desperately needs a complete overhaul.”

And Stuart McDonald, Scottish National Party spokesperson on immigration, added:

“This important report highlights how too often the Dublin regulations are being implemented completely inappropriately. This means refugees and asylum seekers are facing mistreatment and abuse — instead of transfer to countries where they can be reunited with family and support networks.”

“There is no doubt that there has to be a fundamental rethink on how Dublin is operated.”

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