Deadly deportation

One of the motions debated at Lib Dem party conference last week was tabled by our neighbours in Hackney; opposing deportation to states which persecute on the grounds of sexuality and gender identity.

Britain is a signatory to the Convention against Torture which not only prohibits torture within the UK but also bans sending people to countries where there are substantial grounds for believing that they would be in danger of torture. But this hasn’t stopped the Labour government deporting gay men to countries where being gay is punishable by death.

The issue remains highly topical. Just this week, Pink News reports the deportation of two more gay asylum seekers to Uganda and Azerbaijan: both countries where gay people are on the receiving end of violence.

This follows the case of Mhedi Kazemi earlier this year.

Whatever the debates about economic migration, if you are fleeing torture, persecution and death threats, that is surely grounds for asylum.

I’m proud that Lib Dems are speaking up for this cause; but less proud that in a 21st century western democracy, we still have to.

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