Here’s a summary of the last week’s refugee-related news, the good, the bad, and the ugly:
Another Daily Telegraph story proving their “guilty until proven innocent” approach when it comes to asylum seekers and refugees. According to their reporter, certain asylum seekers fabricated their ages in order to claim higher benefits from the UK. The Daily Telegraph, February 1st, 2012.
The Irish Times reveal that many LGBT asylum seekers often risk deportation as they are terrified of revealing their sexuality to border officials. Fleeing terrible persecution in their respective countries, many asylum seekers are unaware that they are able to claim asylum on the basis of their sexual orientation. The Irish Times, January 31st, 2012.
The Irish Examiner runs a story on recent criticism of the ‘draconian’ asylum and immigration system in Ireland. Responding to statements made by the Justice Minister Alan Shatter speaking in advance of the National Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday, the reporter highlights the fact that rather than learning from the “inconvenient truth” that Ireland’s doors were firmly closed to German Jewish families fleeing the Holocaust, Ireland’s 21st century approach to asylum is little different. The Irish Examiner, February 1st, 2012.
The controversial deportation of Lydia Beesong, a highly acclaimed writer, and her husband has been delayed. High profile authors, such as Michael Morpugo, wrote to the Home Office in her defence. Speaking to the press, Morpugo stated:
“How this country treats asylum seekers is the measure of what kind of people we are. Lydia was oppressed in Cameroon. That there is a risk she will be imprisoned and abused again seems undeniable. Her stand against oppression is clear.”
This is North Devon, January 31st, 2012.
The incredible stories of the Afghan boys who, seeking safety and sanctuary, walked to Europe. The Guardian, January 29th, 2012.
A school near Heathrow Airport bucks national trends with excellent exam results. Educating many asylum-seeking children, and with 66 different languages spoken between them, the rest of the country has a lot to learn from this school of sanctuary. The Independent, January 27th, 2012.