Human rights defenders criticize the authorities for deporting asylum seekers


The Ukrainian authorities’ attitude to fulfilling their international obligations on granting asylum to people facing persecution or torture in their own country remains unacceptable and unchanged since the time of former President Kuchma. This was the response given by Executive Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Volodymyr Yavorsky. He was commenting on the recent deportation reported here of 11 ethnic Tamils to Sri Lanka.

Volodymyr Yavorsky says that the refusal to allow representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and a lawyer to the asylum seekers was a clear violation of refugee rights. A number of other infringements needed to be fully examined. Mr Yavorsky promised that the case would receive the widest international publicity if the work of the official commission investigating the deportation proved inadequate. He spoke of the chronic lack of political will from the Ukrainian authorities and accused them of what he called acting on the commission of any regime to deport their nationals seeking refugee from persecution.

Representatives of Amnesty International have said that the same authorities guilty of previous offences were also implicated in the latest case.

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