Letter: Brief chance to end an injustice

Sir: The continuing detention in jail of asylum-seekers who have neither been tried nor convicted of any criminal offence is a denial of their fundamental human rights; they have already been oppressed in their own countries. In this administrative detention there is no right to bail. It is both unreasonable and unjust.

This practice could be ended now without loss of face. The longer the Government delays, the more it will become identified with past asylum polices and the harder politically it will become. The end of this practice (which has been criticised by both Amnesty International and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), would both be seen as a sign of our commitment to human rights and help to rebuild a respect for the rule of law. How long will we have to wait?


Parliamentary Liaison Secretary

The Religious Society of Friends in Britain (Quakers)

London NW1