Asylum and Detention

Posted on Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Throughout their history, Jewish people have been forced to seek refuge from persecution. Yet, the UK is increasingly detaining those who seek shelter here. Is this ever more draconian regime necessary, fair and proportionate?

The UK has a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ attitude towards asylum seekers and migrants in general – as a result, many face unjust hardship in their quest for asylum and sometimes even after they receive it.

One of the biggest problems for those seeking asylum here is the UK’s system of detention. Current policy on detention is opaque and violates human rights. The UK’s use of detention has increased in the last ten years and there is concern about whether detention is used fairly and proportionately. There is no time limit on detention and there is no need for detention to be sanctioned by a court – asylum seekers can be deprived of their liberty for indefinite periods on the say-so of an immigration officer.

14 January 2015 – ‘immoral, inefficient, ill-timed’ – read René Cassin’s objection to expansion of Campsfield Immigration Removal Centre.

3 March 2015 – René Cassin welcomes Parliamentary Inquiry’s report that immigration detention is ‘expensive, ineffective and unjust’.

9 April 2015 – René Cassin organises Pesach Rabbinic visit to detention centre – read about it in Jewish News

5 July 2015  – René Cassin interfaith ‘tent’ on Harmondsworth Moor calls for time limit of 28 days’ immigration detention. Read report of the event in The Independent on Sunday.

29 July 2015René Cassin and Rabbis attend London Church Refugee Network meeting to discuss better interfaith campaigning on indefinite detention

15 September 2015Latest on the Refugee crisis.