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Proposed Pushbacks Show Disregard for Life and Safety at Sea

The UK government’s reported plan to “turn around” boats of migrants and refugees in the English Channel is irresponsible, dangerous, and unlawful. But talking about “turn-arounds” almost makes these tactics sound gentle. Pushbacks at sea would…
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent, by Border Force officers on September 5, 2021.
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Costly, Abusive Approach Fails to Address System’s Flaws

The United Kingdom government’s new borders bill is expected to include the option of detaining asylum seekers offshore, according to multiple news reports. The emerging details of the policy shift suggest an approach that would not only likely cause…
A group of people on the deck of HMC Seeker as they wait to be brought ashore by the UK Border Force in Kent. September 22, 2020.
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The British government’s concern for the safety and well-being of the Yemeni people – already extremely feeble – reached a new low this week. In Geneva, Britain failed to actively promote a Dutch resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council that…
Damaged buildings in Yemen's southern port city of Aden, May 8, 2015.
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Privacy Violations in Intercepting, Retaining, Sharing Data With NSA

Human Rights Watch and three anonymous individuals filed a complaint today over surveillance by the United Kingdom. The complaint by Human Rights Watch to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) charges its rights had been violated…
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David Cameron’s government has shown a shameful lack of leadership and compassion in the face of Europe’s refugee crisis. Until now, it’s not paid much of a political price for doing so. But the heart-wrenching image of Aylan Kurdi, washed up on a Turkish…
A Syrian family sit on the dock side after being escorted into the harbor by the Greek Coastguard who found them drifting offshore on June 4, 2015 in Kos, Greece.
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Isaac Levine arrived in the UK from Lithuania as a 17-year-old in 1894. Manfred Gorlin left his home in Nazi-controlled Danzig (now in Poland) and arrived in 1939. As the grandchildren of Jews who found refuge from persecution in the UK, we watch the…
migrants uk
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The faces and life stories of the people making the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean have been in the news for months now. Of all people, the UK’s immigration minister should be well informed on the subject. And yet…
migrant tent calais
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Government’s New Position Based on Unreliable Evidence

(London, July 2, 2015) – The United Kingdom’s Home Office should issue new guidance to staff screening Eritrean refugee claims that reflects the continued real risk of persecution and other abuses there, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the…
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On the steps of Downing Street last Friday morning, fresh from an election victory, David Cameron described Britain as a country of “great compassion”. He’s right. The British public contributes generously to humanitarian appeals in response to natural…
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Augmented Search and Rescue, but Focus Still on Preventing Departure

(Brussels) – The commitment by European Union heads of state to triple the capacity of Frontex operations in the Mediterranean is an important step towards preventing migrant deaths at sea, Human Rights Watch said today. But the EU, at its extraordinary…
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(Milan) - The European Union (EU) should act immediately to prevent further deaths at sea, Human Rights Watch said. As many as 700 migrants and asylum seekers are feared dead in a single shipwreck in the Mediterranean north of Libya on April 19, 2015,…
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A much-anticipated government report officially acknowledges what Edward Snowden revealed to the world many months ago: the UK has been intercepting communications en masse. But rather than condemn the widespread snooping, the report endorses the so-…
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…
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As any regular reader of British newspapers will know, the portrayal of migrants and asylum seekers is sometimes less than sympathetic. But a startling new study from the University of Oxford shows that the problem is far more widespread. After reviewing…
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Returns to South-Central Somalia Would Contravene UN Refugee Guidelines

The Dutch government should not deport Somalis to any part of south-central Somalia, including Mogadishu, until security improves substantially, and the UN refugee agency has issued new guidelines. In mid-February 2013, Dutch authorities said they planned…
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Allow Access to EU Territory, Step Up Assistance in Region

(Brussels) – The European Union and its member states should do more to help the thousands of Syrian asylum seekers trying to reach Europe as the Syrian crisis worsens and winter sets in, Human Rights Watch said today. Between March 2011 and September…
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Credible Allegations of Arrest and Torture upon Return

(New York) – The United Kingdom should suspend deportations of ethnic Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka and immediately review its policies and information about the country’s rights situation used to assess their claims, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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UK-Ethiopia Agreement on Deportations Puts Suspects at Risk

(London) - The UK government should not rely on unreliable "diplomatic assurances" against torture to deport national security suspects to Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the UK government. In December 2008, the United Kingdom…
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Government and Donors Should Urgently Address Refugee Crisis

(Nairobi) - The Kenyan government, foreign donors, and United Nations agencies should rapidly increase their response to the worsening Somali refugee crisis in Kenya, Human Rights Watch said today. More than 65,000 Somali refugees will have sought…