Out of the glass cage

LONDON - Renowned historian Terence Ranger has written an article, entitled Out of the glass cage, on the anxiously awaited determination of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in October that "failed" Zimbabwean asylum seekers cannot be sent home because they face a real risk of persecution. The ti

tle refers to the glass cage in which witnesses in court had to sit, but is also a telling metaphor for the stressful situation many Zimbabwean asylum seekers find themselves in even when released from detention. Prof. Ranger, president of the Britain Zimbabwe Society, has for several years played a key role in presenting accurate information on the Zimbabwe situation particularly as expert witness at many Immigration Appeal Tribunals. In this particularly important hearing affecting many Zimbabweans in the UK one of the problems was the inevitable lack of documentary evidence of persecution on return, but the three judges acknowledged Prof. Ranger’s evidence as “derived from many years of experience and personal acquaintance with leading figures”. They accepted that “deportees were handed over to Zimbabwean Immigration and the CIO”, and described as “rather alarming” the Home Office’s lack of interest in what happens to deportees. The decision was welcomed but the Home Office is to appeal against it. The slow and sickening roller coaster treatment of Zimbabwean asylum seekers continues. If any reader can assist with evidence of intimidation or persecution on return, please contact Sarah Harland at the Zimbabwe Association, email: [email protected]

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