Still Human, Still Here
Were launching a new film tonight in parliament, which aims to show MPs just how badly the UK is treating refused asylum seekers many of whom cant return home to countries that remain unsafe. Amnestys part of the Still Human, Still Here coalition calling for an end to the destitution faced by refused asylum seekers, until they are granted leave to remain in the UK or can return home safely.
At the moment, peoples support is cut off and theyre denied the right to work effectively trying to starve them out of the country. Weve documented people sleeping rough, eating out of dustbins and depending on churches and charities to feed and clothe themselves.
John Cruddas MP, whos speaking at the event tonight, has blogged about the issue on Comment is Free and weve got a piece on Opendemocracy too. Some of the CiF comment has been pretty lively, but to restate our point: were not saying that people shouldnt be returned home if their asylum claim fails. But those who cant return if their country is still in the grip of conflict or has no safe airport, for example must be treated humanely. Thats all.
We want people to order a free copy of the DVD and show it to their MP, to press for a change to the law. You can order it by calling 01788 545 553 and quoting REF013.
Ive had a bit of a struggle getting coverage of the story though, as all the media cares about at the moment is bears whether theyre being insensitively named in Sudan or wandering around art galleries winning the Turner Prize. Youll remember Dereks Rant about the coverage of Sudan last week that while Gillian Gibbons case deserves attention its sad that it gets so much more column inches than the mass killing and rape still taking place in Darfur and Chad and were highlighting this point in todays Mirror.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.