Amanda Jones brings us good but also bad news. In her ecclesia there are 14 Iranian Asylum Seekers, who have been regularly coming to their meetings and classes. Problem now is that they had hoped to be in a free democratic Christian country, i.e. a land where the love of Christ would be on the lips of many. Therefore, they also looked forward not only to be loved and helped by the Christadelphians but to share their presence with love in a rural or city Christian environment.
At Sister Amanda her ecclesia one Iranian who has been interviewed for Baptism was detained shortly afterwards.
In the last few days, the British and Irish Government seem to have begun a concerted effort to take asylum seekers into detention prior to deporting them to a European third country – i.e. a country which is not the UK (obviously) or Iran.
This is being done under ‘The Dublin III’ Regulation applies to the 27 EU member states, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland and continues to apply to the UK until 31 December 2020. It is agreed by all EU member states, which, in short, states that if a refugee has claimed asylum or has for any other reason had their fingerprints taken in another EU country, the UK can apply to that country to take the asylum seeker back.
Conditions for asylum seekers in the rest of Europe are often much worse than in the UK, and they are unlikely to have access to a local Christadelphian meeting in their new location. Additionally, some European countries will deport the individual straight back to Iran, where they are at risk of imprisonment and possibly death.
At the beginning of the week of 03/02 a number of Iranian contacts/bro & sis were held when they went for their monthly check-in. They were detained and told that they would be deported – some have been given the date of 20/02 for their ‘departure’ date, and as such got deported. The majority have now been re-located to Immigration Removal Centres near Gatwick and Heathrow Airports.
The camps in Germany, where some are brought to, are not safe and many suffer physical violence. Several EU countries have stopped deporting Asylum Seekers to Greece and Italy, because they are not deemed to be ‘safe’ countries. Additionally some European countries will deport the individual straight back to Iran, where they are at risk of imprisonment and possibly death.