Deportations to Zimbabwe halted

The government has suspended deportations of failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe after a ruling that the policy put them at risk.

In a test case last week, the asylum and immigration tribunal found that the government was exposing asylum seekers to a risk of ill-treatment.

It said home secretary Charles Clarke had shown a “lack of interest” in the process by which individuals deported from the UK were received by the Zimbabwean authorities, and described it as “rather alarming”.

After the ruling the Home Office insisted that it applied only to how failed asylum seekers were returned to Harare airport.

A spokesperson said: “We do not believe this judgement requires us as a matter of law to grant refugee status or any other form of leave to failed Zimbabwe asylum seekers.”

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