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UK/Ireland: Asylum row is 'unedifying spectacle' doing real harm

In a joint statement about the UK rejecting any bid from Ireland to return people seeking asylum to the UK, Amnesty International UK and Amnesty International Ireland’s chief executives, Sacha Deshmukh and Stephen Bowen, said:

“The UK and Irish governments pointing fingers at each other rather than addressing the asylum claims of people on their respective territories is a deeply unedifying spectacle that harms both the international refugee system and the people the system is there to protect.

“The UK is currently acting as an international freeloader in refugee matters, expecting other countries to process people’s asylum claims when it flat out refuses to do so itself.

“If the Irish government also ignores the needs and rights of people the UK is abusing, it will only make itself complicit in the UK's hypocrisy. 

“All countries must accept their international obligations to people seeking asylum on their soil - one country’s refusal to do so cannot justify another to follow suit.

“The Irish government - as well as the EU and the wider international community - should not mimic the UK but instead apply sustained pressure on the UK for it to abandon its shameful policy of threatening people seeking asylum with perpetual limbo or expulsion to Rwanda.”

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