UK appeals court grants asylum to Darfur refugees, blocking Sudan return

[JURIST] The England and Wales Court of Appeals (Civil Division) [official website] on Wednesday ruled [judgment text] that three Africans formerly living in the Darfur region of Sudan [JURIST news archives] could be granted asylum in the UK, overruling a decision by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) [official website] to send the appellants back to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. The UK Secretary of State had initially denied asylum to the appellants, saying they could safely return to Khartoum without risk of persecution. The appellants alleged they would be in danger of persecution by the Janjaweed [Wikipedia backgrounder] even in Khartoum, and that sending them back to Sudan would go against the rules of internal relocation. The Court of Appeals agreed that "it would be unduly harsh to require internal relocation to Khartoum," although it found there was little evidence that Sudanese returning to Khartoum would be ill-treated. BBC News has more.

Wednesday's decision will aid hundreds of other Africans from Darfur seeking asylum in the United Kingdom. Aegis Trust [advocacy website] Chief Executive Dr. James Smith responded to the decision:

In light of this judgment, and in light of fresh evidence of the torture of Darfuris removed to Khartoum, brought to light by the Aegis Trust last week, we call for a Home Office moratorium on the further removal of any Darfuri African asylum seekers to Khartoum.
Aegis Trust has more.


 

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