UK Persian Preaching News for February 2020

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.

2 thoughts on “UK Persian Preaching News for February 2020

  1. The UK’s departure from the EU on January 31st 2020 has intensified the concern of rights groups for the estimated 900,000 EU nationals yet to secure their status through the Home Office’s settled status scheme.

    The British government has rejected calls for a declaratory registration scheme, which would have automatically granted settled status to eligible residents. As a result, some people have had to submit large amounts of evidence to prove their right to stay.

    The effect has been to deter many EU citizens living in the UK from applying for settled or pre-settled status.

    The Dublin regulation impedes the legal rights and personal welfare of asylum seekers, including the right to a fair examination of their asylum claim and, where recognised, to effective protection, as well as the uneven distribution of asylum claims among Member States.

    Application of this regulation can seriously delay the presentation of claims, and can result in claims never being heard. Causes of concern include the use of detention to enforce transfers of asylum seekers from the state where they apply to the state deemed responsible, also known as Dublin transfers, the separation of families and the denial of an effective opportunity to appeal against transfers.

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    The UN Refugee Convention does not make the requirement that refugees should seek refuge in the first safe country they come to, and UK case law supports this interpretation. Refugees can legitimately make a claim for asylum in the UK after passing through other “safe” countries.

    But what we can see all over Europe is that the leaders of those countries are afraid to loose votes by the next elections in case they do not halt immigration and do not get rid of already immigrated people. Most leaders want to flirt with the extreme right-wing groups and do not want to choose for a humane and Christian attitude helping those in need.

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  2. The 1951 UN Refugee Convention (also known as the Geneva Convention) defines what a refugee is, what rights a refugee has, and the responsibilities of states towards refugees.

    It defines a refugee as someone who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion” has fled their own country or (if they have no nationality) country of usual residence, and is unable or unwilling to return to it or seek protection from it.

    Being recognised as a refugee gives you the right to not to be returned to the country you have fled, as well as a minimum standard of rights and freedoms in a safe country.

    An asylum seeker is someone who is in need and search of refuge. The right to seek asylum from persecution in other countries is a universal human right, set out in Article 14 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

    Practically speaking, an asylum seeker is someone who has applied for refugee status (or another form of international protection) in another country, and is awaiting a decision on that application. They can only apply once they physically reach the country.

    In the UK, once an asylum seeker has had their application processed, they may receive permission to stay as a refugee for five years (after which they can apply to settle in the UK). They may also be given “permission to stay for humanitarian reasons” or other reasons, or their application may be rejected in which case, if no appeal is successful, they have to leave the UK unless they face a “real risk” of serious harm in the case of deportation.

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