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|Amnesty Slams Government's Asylum Record
- 'Hostility' and 'suspicion' cited by human rights group
THE LABOUR government has been attacked by human rights group Amnesty International over its treatment of asylum seekers.
In its annual World Report (for 2000), Amnesty slammed British policies including the detention centre set up by Home Secretary Jack Straw and the dispersal system whereby refugees are shifted around the country to areas "where people had no experience of living with asylum seekers," as Amnesty put it.
"How can we claim to be a just and tolerant society when we greet those fleeing persecution with such hostility and suspicion?" Kate Allen of UK Amnesty said.
The asylum issue has been used by desperate Tory leader William Hague as a stick with which to beat the government during the election campaign. Hague favours an even more draconian system than Straw and Prime Minister Tony Blair, despite a poll last week that reported more than half of respondents favoured generous treatment of refugees.