Country Guidance Case HS Zimbabwe

PRESS RELEASE  - 1 July 2008

From:  Zimbabwe Association (ZA), a charity working for Zimbabwean asylum seekers and refugees in the UK

To: News Desks, Political, Home Affairs Correspondents, Foreign Correspondents

On Wednesday 2 July 2008 an oral hearing will take place at the Court of Appeal, Royal Courts of Justice, requesting permission to appeal the HS (Zimbabwe) ruling from Lord Justice Buxton and Lord Justice Keene.

HS is the present Country Guidance case for Zimbabwe, which in November 2007 found that some asylum seekers could safely be returned to Zimbabwe. Thousands of Zimbabweans have asylum cases waiting for the outcome of the HS case. HS and AA (the case with which it is linked) have been going on for 3 years.

There are three possible outcomes of the oral hearing:

• permission to appeal granted
• permission to appeal refused (enforced removals may begin again)
• case adjourned

The situation in Zimbabwe following the murderous presidential election run-off is volatile and dangerous.  Many people have been arrested including Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu, of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) who have spent the last five weeks in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. Their lawyer and supporters were recently prevented from seeing them and told they could only see them when they were dead’. Scores of other less well known Zimbabweans have been abducted and imprisoned.
This is NOT an appropriate time for enforced returns of asylum seekers to Zimbabwe.

Victims of Zimbabwe election violence in 2000, 2002 and 2005 are still waiting in the UK for their cases to be resolved. People are not allowed to work to support themselves and are losing their skills. The Zimbabwe Association (ZA) believes they should be given the Right to Work until their cases are finally concluded.

The British government has condemned the awful violence of the ZanuPF regime.

It can choose to help the victims of that violence.

Zimbabwe Association, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT
Tel: 020 7549 0355; Fax: 020 7549 0356; [email protected]
Contact: Sarah Harland, 07985037198

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