Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Indian asylum seekers

The British have changed their rules for Indian asylum seekers:

Asylum seekers from India whose applications are rejected and certified as "clearly unfounded" will soon be unable to appeal while still in the UK.

India is to join a list of nations from which people seeking asylum have claims fast-tracked, the Home Office has said.

If the claim fails and the applicant cannot prove it was not "clearly unfounded", they may only appeal after being removed from the UK.

Home Office Minister Des Browne said India was "generally a safe country".

He said: "Adding India to the list of safe countries is part of our drive to prevent failed asylum seekers from attempting to frustrate their removal from the UK by unnecessarily prolonging the appeals process.

"We have, for the time being, suspended enforced removals of failed asylum seekers to the southern coast of India, in line with our overall policy on areas affected by the tsunami.

"India, however, is generally a safe country where people are not routinely fleeing for their lives, and very few people need our protection under the refugee convention."

Some 1,305 Indian nationals applied for asylum between January and November 2004, but 95% of those bids were refused.

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