Letter: Political persecution continues in Romania

Share
Related Topics
Sir: Britain has a proud record in sheltering political refugees. Even today - in spite of concern over a mass exodus from the former Soviet Union - each application for political asylum is supposed to be considered on its own merit.

Unfortunately, there have been a number of recent cases involving Romanian refugees where this tradition was not evident. Admittedly, the Home Office may have some difficulty in accepting uncorroborated evidence of past suffering, but the very same kind of evidence was usually accepted during the Ceausescu regime. Why is it not accepted now?

The reason appears to be the opinion of the Foreign Office - accepted by the Home Office - that there is no longer any political persecution in Romania and therefore that no one can entertain reasonable fears that upon being forced to return to Romania, he or she will suffer at the hands of the authorities. Yet there is ample evidence that Ceausescu's secret police - the Securitate - is run even now by the same thugs, though it has changed its name to the 'Romanian Information Service'. It pursues its nefarious activities unhindered, though unofficially, and its victims are no longer formally charged, judged and sentenced. Instead, opponents of the present regime are apprehended, beaten up, bullied and encouraged to leave the country. Mysterious car accidents occur.

To suggest, as the Home Office does, that those who have a record of opposing the present regime have nothing to fear if they return is callous nonsense. Yet this is now almost invariably the reason given for turning down such applications for political asylum. Of course, the applicants can appeal, but lately most of such appeals have been unsuccessful.

We appeal to the new Home Secretary to take an interest in these refugees and to instruct his officials to adopt a more compassionate and informed attitude in dealing with Romanian asylum seekers. He has the power to allow these unfortunate people to remain here on the basis of 'exceptional leave' and we hope he will exercise this in favour of those who have lost their appeals, because his officials do not seem to understand what is going on in Romania.

Yours faithfully,

NICOLAE RATIU

President, World Union of

Free Romanians - UK

EUGENIU DINESCU

Editor, 'The Free Romanian'

London, W1

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executive - Call Centre Jobs

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko prior to the start of the European Council Summit in Brussels last month  

David Cameron talks big but is waving a small stick at the Russian bear

Kim Sengupta
 

Isis in Iraq: Even if Iraqi troops take back Saddam’s city of Tikrit they will face bombs and booby traps

Patrick Cockburn
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003