Members of Exiled Writers Ink respond in horror to Priti Patel’s plans to create offshore centres to process asylum seekers. Plus Dr Liz Curran pleads with the UK not to follow Australia’s dehumanising policy and Pat Beesley wonders when we stopped treating refugees like human beings
We are refugee and migrant writers living in Britain who are members of Exiled Writers Ink, and we are horrified at Priti Patel’s new proposals for dealing with refugees and asylum seekers (Priti Patel to reveal proposals for offshore centres for asylum seekers, 5 July). Having suffered intolerable ordeals to reach the UK, undergoing pain or terror, whether in our countries of origin or on our journeys, we need to be treated with humanity, decency and respect.
The bill should exercise compassion rather than criminalise refugees simply because they are forced to deploy unconventional methods to enter the country. The reason for the dangerous and illegal journeys into the UK is the draconian system that prevents refugees from entering this country through legal means. Crucially, Patel needs to be aware of the grave danger of returning migrants to their home countries, given that numerous regimes would be only too pleased to receive the deportees in order to kill them.