Wednesday, June 06, 2012

British government deports people to torture

The Guardian reports that the British government is deporting people to torture:

The British government is forcibly deporting asylum seekers who are then tortured in Sri Lanka, according to the testimony of one victim who was left scarred and suicidal after a brutal two-week ordeal.

The victim told the Guardian he was tortured over the space of 17 days after being deported from the UK last year. His torturers accused him of passing on to British officials information about previous beatings at the hands of state officials and other human rights abuses, to ruin diplomatic relations between the two countries.


Speaking through a translator, the victim, who wants to be identified only as Hari for fear of further retribution by Sri Lankan authorities, said that six months after he was deported, security personnel arrested him and beat him with rods, put petrol-filled plastic bags over his face and hung him by his feet with a nylon rope. Hari's back displays a welter of scars and the Guardian has seen medical reports supporting his claims.

There is a full interview with the victim here.

This is of course unlawful. It violates the Refugee Convention (not to mention the Convention Against Torture), both of which are given effect in UK law. But the politically-driven rush to kick out asylum seekers (lest they disturb racist Britons by being different) means that unfair decisions are made, and people are sent back to persecution and torture. As for the decision-makers, well, its not as if anyone is holding them to account for what happens to the people they deport. Morally, they're complicit in the crime.

And just to add insult to injury, Sri Lanka's head of state Mahinda Rajapaksa has been invited to the monarch's jubilee celebrations, and will be enjoying lunch with the Queen. You know people by their friends. And in the monarchy's case, their friends are torturers.