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: Refrigeration Engineer

£24000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: These refrigeration specialists...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Coordinator - Logistics and Supply Chain

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an operational role and...

Recruitment Genius: CNC Sheet Metal Worker / Fabricator

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working within the workshop of ...

Recruitment Genius: 1st / 2nd Line IT Support Engineer

£20000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist high tech compa...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A German prostitute, called Eve, waits for clients behind her window in the red light district of Amsterdam on December 8, 2008. Under a plan called Coalitions Project 2012, unveiled on December 6, 2008 by the city council, Amsterdam plans to halve the number of prostitution windows and cannabis-vending coffee shops in a revamp of its historic center aimed at curbing rising crime. Prostitution was legalized in the Netherlands in 2000 ANOEK DE GROOT/AFP/Getty Images  

As a former prostitute, it feels wonderful that there are now places where I could not legally be for sale

Diane Martin
 

Charles Kennedy: A talented politician and a great friend, with a shared enemy

Alastair Campbell
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral