Refugee Council supports vigil for Zimbabwean asylum seekers at the High Court - Refugee Council
August 3, 2005

Refugee Council supports vigil for Zimbabwean asylum seekers at the High Court

No returns to Zimbabwe

Such has been the public and media outcry about people being sent back to Mugabe’s murderous regime that the government has temporarily suspended returns to Zimbabwe. But the pressure needs to be kept up. That is why the Refugee Council is supporting the solidarity vigil outside the High Court organised by the United Network of Detained Zimbabweans(UNDZ).

The Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, Maeve Sherlock, said:

“We hope that whatever the High Court’s decision on the legality of the policy, the government will take the humane and common sense approach and stop returns until the situation in Zimbabwe improves markedly. Safety must always be the number one concern when a decision is taken to return a failed asylum seeker to their homeland. And it is obvious that in the current circumstances, safety cannot be guaranteed. If returns start again, people’s lives could be put at risk.”


Notes to Editors:

  1. The vigil will take place outside the Royal Courts of Justice, London WC2 from 17.00 on Wednesday 03 August until the decision of the High Court is announced on 04 August.
    Further information about the vigil is available from the organisers, the United Network of Detained Zimbabweans (UNDZ), whose spokesman is Noble Sibanda (Tel: 07904 132448)
  2. A press conference will be held at 17.30 on Wednesday at the vigil and a further press conference will be held when the decision is announced. Media are particularly encouraged to attend the vigil at 0800 – 0900 on Thursday when numbers are expected to peak.
  3. While the vigil is taking place, the Refugee Council spokesman who will be present is Tim Finch, Director of Communications. (tel: 07776 203408)
  4. Broadcast or print media who wish to interview vigil supporters or Zimbabweans who are affected by the government’s decision about deportations are advised to contact Refugee Council or UNDZ spokespeople prior to attending the vigil.
  5. The Refugee Council has been active in opposing returns to Zimbabwe at present and full details of the situation are available in a special section of the Refugee Council website at
  6. The Home Office officially suspended deportation of failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers on Friday 15 July following the intervention of Judge Ouseley who urged the Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, to change policy until the situation in Zimbabwe had been clarified to him.

For further information contact press office:
Bob Deffee 020 7346 6712 (Switchboard: 0207 820 3000). For urgent or out of hours inquiries ring 0870 0555500 & ask for pager 865169.