On EU Borders

See also: https://qarn.org.uk/channel-crossings/

Updated 17 March 2022: Guardian: Fears grow of new crisis as refugees in Belarus driven into Ukraine

Dozens from Middle East ordered at gunpoint by soldiers to choose between leaving for Poland, where soldiers have beaten them, or Ukraine

Belarusian armed forces are pushing asylum seekers from the Middle East who became trapped in the country after they were promised passage to the EU to cross the border into war-torn Ukraine, according to the testimony of people in Belarusian camps.

Dozens of asylum seekers stuck for months in a makeshift dormitory in Bruzgi, a village in Belarus less than a mile from the Polish border, were ordered by a group of Belarusian soldiers on 5 March to leave the building at gunpoint and given two options: crossing the border into Poland, where guards have beaten them back, or entering Ukraine, one of them said.

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Deaths in Home Office asylum system accommodation

Updated 11 March 2022: The Civil Fleet: 19 people died in Home Office asylum-seeker accommodation in 2021

Close to two people died on average per month while in the Home Office’s care last year, figures provided in a freedom of information request show

AT LEAST 19 people, including a two-year-old boy, died inside Home Office asylum-seeker accommodation in 2021, The Civil Fleet can reveal. 

Sixteen men and three women died at Home Office asylum accommodation facilities across England and Wales, according to figures provided in a freedom of information (FOI) request.

The average age of those who died in these facilities last year was 40.3 years of age, far below the 79.3 years of age the Office for National Statistics states as the average life expectancy at birth in the UK in 2018 to 2020. 

The figures put the average monthly deaths in these facilities, provided by outsourcing companies Clearsprings Ready Homes, Serco, and Mears Group, at 1.5 deaths per month. 

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Faith leaders letter on the Nationality and Borders Bill

3 March 2022: Quakers join more than 1,000 faith representatives ‘horrified’ by refugee bill

22 Quaker representatives have signed a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging him to reconsider the Nationality and Borders Bill.

Leaders from the six major faith groups in the UK said they are “horrified and appalled about the potential repercussions of the Bill” and called on the Prime Minister to make urgent changes.

We assert that the values that bind UK citizens together, especially those concerning human dignity and life, will be fundamentally damaged by this Bill.

These include abandoning plans to criminalise and restrict the rights of people arriving in the UK through irregular routes, such as by boat or lorry. The letter calls on the government to create safe routes to help people reach the UK.

Quaker signatories include: Paul Parker, Recording Clerk of Quakers in Britain; Elizabeth Allen, Clerk to General Meeting for Scotland; and Sheila Mosley on behalf of the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network (QARN).

The letter was coordinated by the Joint Public Issues Team, made up of the Methodist Church in Britain, Baptist Union of Great Britain and United Reformed Church, working with the Church of Scotland.

Read the full text of the letter

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