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No more removals to DR Congo

transformer | 24.11.2005 18:31 | Migration | Repression | Social Struggles | London

Demonstration Called by SOS Immigration

Thursday 1st December
Assemble - 10.00am
Home Office, Peel Building. 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF

The BBC World Service has come back from a fact-finding trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last month and will broadcast a programme on Thursday 1st December 2005 revealing evidence of abuse by Congolese authorities towards "failed" asylum seekers returned by EU countries.

"European countries say there is no evidence to suggest that people are singled out because they are asylum seekers. But my source from the secret services said 'we are actually targeting asylum seekers who have been abroad and who we feel have besmirched the name of our country by talking about the Government and our country'". Jenny Cuffe, *BBC World Service

We will be handing the Home Office a Memorandum and details of the BBC World Service programme
We demand Š
1. The Home Office responds to new evidence gathered by BBC World Service, broadcast on the 1st December !

2. UK government produces its evidence of fulfilling its responsibility of monitoring returns of "failed" asylum seekers to the DRC !

What happened to those deported by the UK government to the DRC on the charter flight in March 2002 ? One victim's statement ignored by the Home Office ; "We were beaten on a daily basis by groups of three or five soldiers. They would come into the cell and kick us with their army boots or beat us with their fists. They accused us of being traitors. I was raped by the guards on at least six occasions". He is out of sight, but we have not forgotten. We do not forget his fate, or all the other deportees who suffered after him.

DRC has hardly been out of war and consistent civil unrests; having lost close to 4 million people since the mid-1990s (as reported by Norwegian Refugee Council 29/07/05)" - the highest death toll since World War II - that, its traumatised populations both in and out of their country, are constantly submitted to renewed fears of persecution, war and death. Democracy is still a foreign theme in the mind of most DRC's leaders - to say the least.

UK NGOs have presented evidence of abuse of deportees from European countries to the Home Office who took little action.

The UK does not conduct any monitoring of the safety of "failed" asylum seekers they return to the DRC.

Inquires/further information contact :
SOS Immigration - Didier Matamba / 079 4928 2445

*BBC reporter trails deported asylum seekers to the Congo

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