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UK tribunal criticizes deportation policy for Zimbabwe asylum seekers

[JURIST] The UK's Asylum and Immigration Tribunal [official website] ruled against the deportation of a Zimbabwean man on Thursday and sharply criticized the Home Office [official website] for an "alarming" lack of interest in the conditions deportees would face back home. The tribunal ruled [PDF text] that although the man had been "fraudulent" and "deliberately dishonest" with British authorities, he would face a "real risk of serious harm" if he was deported. The Zimbabwean government often treats those returned from the UK as spies or traitors. The British government sent researchers to Zimbabwe to report on conditions there, but the court said this expedition "reveal[ed] nothing of the actual process which returned asylum seekers go through". UK officials are saying that the tribunal's decision has created a large hole [BBC report] in Britain's asylum policy for Zimbabwe [IND backgrounder] because anyone arriving from the country can file a false asylum claim without being deported while Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is in power. The Guardian has more.

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