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Inhumane deportation process of Asylum Seekers criticised- August 18, 2011

THE Irish Refugee Council (IRC) has called for an urgent review of the “inhumane” deportation process after a young mother was detained for deportation just hours after she suffered what appeared to be a miscarriage.

The Department of Justice, however, has refuted this, stating that the woman in question did not suffer a miscarriage and was fit to travel.

On Tuesday, Nigerian asylum seeker Olayinka Ijaware, who was believed to be seven-and-a-half weeks’ pregnant, was taken to the Rotunda hospital.

After suffering what seemed to be a miscarriage, she was taken back into Garda custody and returned to Dublin Airport, where she was scheduled to be deported, along with several other Nigerian asylum seekers. But the flight was cancelled without explanation late on Tuesday night.

The IRC said it was “appalled” by the decision to detain the woman.

Rosanna Flynn of the Residents Against Racism, who was with Ms Ijaware at the Rotunda, said she had a letter from the woman’s doctor saying she was unfit to travel “if she was bleeding”.

Ms Ijaware’s  immigration solicitor Dublin, said he faxed the letter from the Rotunda to the Garda National Immigration Bureau office at Dublin Airport yesterday evening, and discussed her medical status with gardaí.

However, they told him a doctor at the airport had assessed her as fit to travel.

Ms Flynn said the woman and her two children, aged seven and five, were part of a “mass deportation”, whereby immigration police enforce deportation orders made by the Justice Minister, Alan Shatter.

“They arrive at hostels early in the morning, 5am, without anyone knowing, to take them to the airport,” she said.

The head of the IRC, Sue Conlan, said: “The men, women and children subject to deportation have a right to be treated with respect and concern for their welfare. This is an issue which anyone with an interest in basic human dignity will feel strongly about.

“The Minister for Justice has a duty to ensure that basic standards of decency are upheld throughout the deportation process. We would urge the minister to urgently review the manner in which deportations are carried out.”

The department said Mr Shatter rejected these allegations and that “appropriate standards of decency are applied throughout the deportation process”.

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This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Thursday, August 18, 2011 By Jennifer Hough

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