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Monday 23rd October to Sunday 29th October 2023

Over 114 Million Displaced By War, Violence Worldwide

More than 114 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their homes by the end of September 2023, due to conflict, persecution and human rights violations, UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Wednesday 24th October.

War in Ukraine and conflicts in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Myanmar, drought, floods and insecurity in Somalia, as well as a prolonged humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan have been the main drivers of the alarming new total.

Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, expressed his concern, stating that “globally, far too many conflicts are proliferating or escalating, shattering innocent lives and uprooting people.”F
International failures
“The international community’s inability to solve conflicts or prevent new ones is driving displacement and misery. We must look within, work together to end conflicts and allow refugees and other displaced people to return home or restart their lives,” he urged.

As of June, the number of forcibly displaced individuals worldwide stood at 110 million, marking an increase of 1.6 million from the end of 2022.

Read more: UN News, https://tinyurl.com/2p8f3d5k

Permission Granted for JR Challenging Delays in Asylum Decision Making

Legal challenge arguing Home Office delays are unlawful will now progress to a full hearing

As of June, 106,543 asylum seekers have been waiting more than 6 months for an initial decision on their claim. Some have waited for as long as 5 years.

These delays are hugely damaging for Survivors of extreme human cruelty.

It places them in immigration limbo with no right to work or claim vital welfare benefits, and with poor access to healthcare and safe, appropriate accommodation.

"Asylum Aid is arguing that the Home Office is acting unlawfully by failing to comply with their obligations to make asylum decisions as soon as possible and to provide reliable time frames for a decision, amounting to a breach of our client's human rights.

Read more: EIN, https://tinyurl.com/393tx9j9

Sunak Forced to bring Afghans Granted Sanctuary in Britain to UK From Pakistan

Afghans eligible for sanctuary in Britain but trapped in Pakistan and Iran will be scrambled to the UK as soon as possible after diplomats warned they could not be kept safe. In a U-turn of government policy, ministers have pledged that all Afghans eligible for the UK’s resettlement schemes will no longer have to wait for accommodation to be confirmed before coming to Britain.

The Independent first revealed in April this year that Afghans – promised safety in Britain after serving alongside coalition forces in Kabul – were in limbo in Pakistan hotels after the UK stopped chartering flights and demanded refugees find their own housing in the UK before travelling.

Nearly 3,000 are currently in Islamabad, having been stranded there for months. Hundreds are also trapped in Iran waiting for relocation to the UK. Rishi Sunak’s government has now been forced to change tack after Pakistan authorities issued an ultimatum, warning that undocumented Afghans must leave the country by 1 November – or risk deportation.

Read more: Holly Bancroft, Independent, https://tinyurl.com/3vn4wb52

Government's Counter Disinformation Unit Falls Short On Curbing False Israel-Palestine Posts

Labour's shadow digital minister Alex Davies-Jones has questioned whether the government’s Counter Disinformation Unit is “fit for purpose” as online disinformation surrounding the war between Israel and Hamas continues to spread across social media.

The government's Counter Disinformation Unit (CDU) was set up in 2019 with the intention of focusing on deliberate disinformation. It began to focus on tackling the circulation of false health claims during the Covid-19 pandemic from 2020 onwards. The unit monitors publicly available online information and states it can take action by posting rebuttals to false claims, raising campaigns to "promote the facts", and working with social media companies to encourage them to promote reliable sources of information.

The online fact sheet for the unit, updated in June this year, states it is “currently focused on disinformation related to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and has already countered Russian disinformation about Ukraine including denials of mass casualty events”.

But it remains unclear what further measures the unit has introduced to specifically tackle the vast amount of online disinformation circulating about the violent conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Read more: Zoe Crowther, PoliticsHome. https://tinyurl.com/yp4ejue5






Government Faces Legal Challenge Over ‘Unlawful Segregation’ of Asylum Seekers

A legal challenge launched by the charity Care4Calais against the home secretary, Suella Braverman, has warned that about 200 people accommodated at Wethersfield airbase are being subjected to “segregation by nationality”. Many living at the base, which is almost 12 miles from the nearest town, Braintree, come from countries including Eritrea and Afghanistan, while the majority of the population in villages close to the base are white.

Asylum seekers have been accommodated at the site since 12 July. The base is ringed by security fences and monitored 24/7 by on-site security guards and CCTV. There are no pavements on the roads around the site and no public transport.

In a pre-action protocol letter issued by lawyers representing the charity, the home secretary is accused of failing to meet the requirements of certain sections of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 to provide an adequate standard of accommodation.

Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian, https://tinyurl.com/mryksshx

‘Pervasive and Relentless’ Racism on the Rise in Europe

Racism is “pervasive and relentless” and on the rise in Europe, with nearly half of black people in member states surveyed by the EU reporting discrimination, from the verbal abuse of their children to being blocked by landlords from renting homes.

In every walk of life, from schools to the job market, housing and health, a survey by the EU’s rights agency of people of African descent found high levels of discrimination, with some of the worst results recorded in Austria and Germany, where far-right parties have been on the rise.

The survey of 6,752 people of African descent in 13 countries – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden – found 45% had experienced racial discrimination, an increase of six percentage points from 39% in 2016.

Read more: Daniel Boffey , Guardian, https://tinyurl.com/4dnu4j6u

Aliens: The Chequered History of Britain's Wartime Refugees

Britain has a proud history of welcoming refugees. It also has a shameful history of hostility to refugees. Often exactly the same refugees at the same time. As with all real life and real history — as opposed to more transparently ideologically driven accounts — it is a complex story. Paul Dowswell’s new book, Aliens: A Chequered History of Britain’s Wartime Refugees, does an excellent job of recounting in a balanced way some aspects of British history that many would rather forget.

Parallels with contemporary reactions to refugees are unavoidable. Dowswell makes this explicit in his conclusion. But any reader will make the connection themselves as they read extracts from Daily Mail articles from the 1920s and 1930s conflating migrants with criminals and statements by prominent politicians that inflate the numbers of refugees and boldly state they all want to come to Britain.

The Public, the Press, the Politicians - Depressingly, the difference then with now is sometimes that the prominent politicians were fringe figures on the backbenches. Today the Home Secretary herself can and does engage in this kind of fear-mongering.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/mv7ehbrd

Hundreds of American Jews Arrested in Protest Against the Israeli State

At least 300 people have been arrested near the US Capitol after a protest against the Israel-Hamas war.

The rally in Washington DC was organised by two fringe left-wing Jewish campaign groups, ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ and ‘IfNotNow Movement’, who both advocate against the State of Israel.

Protestors wore black T-shirts that read "Jews say ceasefire now" and "Not in our name".

That number is likely to rise as more arrests are processed, police said, adding that three people were charged with assaulting a police officer. Most were arrested inside the Cannon House Office Building, where protests are not permitted. The demonstrators called on President Joe Biden and Congress to push for a ceasefire in Gaza.

More on the protest itself, https://tinyurl.com/2r4fukp3

‘Jewish Voice for Peace’
Largest Progressive Jewish Anti-Zionist organization in the world.
We Have A Plan To End U.S. Support For Israel’s Oppression Of Palestinians

‘IfNotNow Movement’
We are a movement of American Jews organizing our community to end U.S. support for Israel's apartheid system and demand equality, justice, and a thriving future for all Palestinians and Israelis.

Conditions at Manston Centre for Asylum Seekers ‘Unacceptable’

Conditions at a processing centre for asylum seekers who arrive on the Kent coast in small boats have been called unacceptable in a report from a watchdog that monitors the centre.

Representatives from the Independent Monitoring Boards (IMB) made a total of 85 visits in 2022 to three Home Office processing centres for small boat arrivals – Manston, Western Jet Foil and Kent Intake Unit – for its 2022 annual report into short-term holding facilities on the Kent coast. All three centres hit the headlines last year due to a variety of scandals and serious incidents.

The IMB report found that the facilities struggled to cope with an increasing number of arrivals and identified “serious concerns about the conditions in which people were being held, particularly at Manston”. The report adds: “At Manston detained individuals were accommodated in marquees which we would describe as at best basic, at worst unsanitary and unacceptable.”

Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian, https://tinyurl.com/32sw5xyt






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UK Human Rights and Democracy 2020

Hunger Strikes in Immigration Detention

Charter Flights January 2016 Through December 2020

A History of

Immigration Solicitors

Judicial Review

Villainous Mr O