Detention Watch from Zimbabwe Association-(08-02-07

LONDON - An Independent Asylum Commission will be holding public hearings across the UK until November 2007. They are investigating the whole asylum system so they can issue a report making recommendations on how reform can be carried out in a fair, forceful, realistic and humane way. Some people in

the UK think the asylum system is too generous; others believe that asylum seekers are not treated decently. What do you think?
The public hearings are your chance to tell the Commissioners how you feel and what you have experienced. You can submit written evidence for the hearing or even prepare a short video testimony for the website. There are many issues being considered such as the way the asylum process operates, detention, support, removal, etc. The Commission particularly wants to hear from asylum seekers and refugees.
After each hearing there will be a Roadshow which will highlight asylum issues using drama, music and interviews. For more information on the Commission try www.independentasylumcommission.org.uk or call us at the office.
Heartening news from South Africa means that Zimbabwean asylum seekers should now be allowed to work and study in South Africa. Hard work and lobbying by the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum has resulted in a commitment from SA Home Affairs to treat Zimbabweans more justly and in line with their treatment of asylum seekers from other nationalities.
A new resource produced by the Refugee Women’s Resource Project (RWRP) at Asylum Aid helps explain the Home Office policy on dealing with women’s cases. RWRP believes that women asylum seekers will have the courage to ask for their rights, if they know what their rights are. The leaflets detailing these rights, which are aimed at newly-arrived women seeking asylum, are available to download for free at www.asylumaid.org.uk., and can be shown to legal reps or caseworkers. RWRP has also produced a free audio CD from [email protected]. It covers the needs of women asylum seekers; procedures that should be in place when a woman goes for her asylum interview with the Home Office, etc.
Two Zimbabweans known to us are in detention at present. It is unlikely that they will get bail before a ruling on AA is given.
We can usually be contacted at the office on 020 7549 0355 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, messages may be left on the answer machine at other times, or by fax 020 7549 0356 or email: [email protected]. We also have a website at www.zimbabweassociation.org .

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