Outrage at British plan to return Syrian asylum seeker

By Alex Gangitano

Human rights groups have reacted angrily at the news the government is trying to return asylum seekers to Syria, despite the civil war in the country.

A planned deportation of one particular activist on October 21st was blocked by the High Court, partly due to an intervention from Amnesty International.

"Had it not been for an eleventh hour intervention, the UK government could have blood on its hands over this case," said Jan Shaw, Amnesty International UK refugee programme director.

Amnesty noted that no other EU countries were returning asylum seekers to Syria and called for a ban on all forcible returns of nationals.

In a letter to home secretary Theresa May, Amnesty mapped out the threats facing Syrian human rights activists being returned to their country while violence continued

The efforts to return asylum seekers are particularly galling because the British government was instrumental in pushing the UN to address the issue of human rights in Syria.

“At best this might be a case of the right hand not knowing what the left is doing, which is unacceptable,” Shaw said.

UN envoy today announced the Syrian government had agreed to a truce during Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which starts on Thursday and lasts for three or four days.