We need safe pathways to claim asylum in UK

Two pieces of today’s news that fit together: tragically this Kurdish family from Iran drowned in the sea trying to get to safety …

28 October 2020: BBC.CO.UK Channel migrants: Kurdish-Iranian family died after boat sank

Four members of a Kurdish-Iranian family died in the Channel when a boat they were travelling in sank – and their 15-month-old boy remains missing.

Rasoul Iran-Nejad, 35, Shiva Mohammad Panahi, 35, Anita, nine, and Armin, six, were crossing from France to the UK on Tuesday, the BBC has established.

Their baby, Artin, has yet to be found.

.Read more:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54717137 

also the UK Court decided that it was unsafe to return a particular Kurd to Iran because of what would happen on his return as he has been out of the country, amongst other reasons: (thanks to John O for this information):

ND v HS: Appeal Allowed Not Safe to Return Ethnic Kurd to Iran

1. The appellant, who is an Iranian national of Sunni faith and Kurdish ethnicity, with date of birth given as 18.9.93, has appealed to the Upper Tribunal with permission against the decision of the First-tier Tribunal promulgated 18.12.19, dismissing on all grounds his appeal against the decision of the Secretary of State, dated 19.10.19, to refuse his claim for international protection.

19. Given that the appellant would be under suspicion on return as a failed asylum-seeker, and particularly because of his Kurdish ethnicity, it can be assumed that the Iranian authorities will question him and, I am satisfied, will likely ask him about any anti-Iranian or pro-Kurdish political activity in the UK and require him to disclose any social media account details. Even if there are no social media accounts to disclose, the judge not being satisfied that they would have come to the attention of the Iranian authorities, the judge did accept and made findings of fact that the appellant attended “one or two” pro- KDP demonstrations and a HDK event where he was photographed with the party leader. As is also clear from Country Guidance, the appellant cannot be expected to lie when questioned about this political activity. On the basis of the Country Guidance of HB (Kurds), the threshold for suspicion is low, the reaction reasonably likely to be extreme and, “… involvement with any organised activity on behalf of or in support of Kurds can be perceived as political and thus involve a risk of adverse attention by the Iranian authorities with the consequent risk of persecution or Article 3 ill-treatment.”

22. It seems to me to be inevitable that on return the appellant will be questioned and it must be taken as likely that he will disclose the sur place activity accepted by the judge to have taken place. Given his Kurdish ethnicity and this, albeit low-level, political activity, HB (Kurds) confirms that the Iranian authorities are likely to take action against the appellant which will at the very least infringe article 3 ECHR. Even if not likely, the risk is more than sufficient to cross the threshold of the lower standard of proof.

23. In the circumstances and for the reasons set out above, I find such material error of law in the decision of the First-tier Tribunal so that it must be set aside and remade. On the findings of fact, the appellant has demonstrated to the lower standard of proof that he will be at risk of persecution or treatment infringing Article 3 ECHR arising out his accepted sur place low-level anti- regime and pro-Kurdish activities.

Decision: The appeal of the appellant to the Upper Tribunal is allowed. The decision of the First-tier Tribunal is set aside. I remake the decision in the appeal by allowing it on asylum grounds, alternatively humanitarian protection grounds, and alternatively human rights grounds.
BAILII: https://is.gd/WNhjgG

27 October 2020: SNN statement: Open safe pathways to UK, prevent more deaths in the sea

Once again, people travelling in desperation have died in the Channel trying to find a safe place to live because there is no legal way to come here, while members of the UK Government talk of creating wave machines, and employing people to send the boats back, and make no secret of the crass, racist, hostile and heartless policies that they have put in place.

Why people are left to die in this way?

SNN member organisation RAPAR delivered a letter to the UK Government in 2015 on behalf of leaders in the Calais ‘Jungle’, offering the chance to listen to the people directly affected if they really wanted to do something humane, and that offer is still on the table. The Government had this opportunity five years ago and did not take it – how many lives have been lost in the interim? Read the report here: http://www.salfordnow.co.uk/2016/04/28/manchester-letter-calais-jungle/

It is outrageous, and terribly sad that we as a relatively comfortable country think it OK to treat others this way.

The Status Now Network urges the UK Government to honour our moral commitment by creating safe pathways to enable people who are forced into migration to seek asylum in UK without putting their lives in the hands of human traffickers, or taking other life-threatening risks.

In addition, we call for these who are already here, who are undocumented or in the legal process, to be given the right to remain in UK so that we can achieve #HealthAndSafetyForAll.