Why does racist and cruel treatment of asylum seekers barely raise a whisper?

......imagine a nasty situation blows up in your street or estate, so nasty you have to leave the country.
When you arrive in a seemingly civilised destination, you have to tell an inquisitor who the third president of Ireland was before you are allowed stay in the country.* Absurd? It might be, but this is the equivalent of the type of question considered suitable as a test for people seeking asylum in Ireland.
If the person cannot answer questions about their home country correctly, their case takes a turn for the worse.
The 5,000 people living here seeking asylum are at the bottom of the pile of concerns for legislators, authorities and the average citizen. But that should not mean they suffer inhumane treatment. And the way they are treated by the Irish “system” is nothing less than racist and cruel.....
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Report criticises asylum decisions

A “CULTURE of disbelief” among some decision-makers in the asylum process is contributing to the rejection of the vast majority of asylum applications, a report on the issue says.
Authors of the report, Difficult to Believe: the assessment of asylum claims in Ireland, published this morning by the Irish Refugee Council, say asylum applicants with apparently legitimate claims for asylum are being denied protection here.
They are calling for an “urgent review” of the whole refugee application and appeals process.
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AUSTRALIA -  More protests and hunger strike on Nauru as conditions deteriorate

Another 38 asylum seekers, Iranian and Afghan, arrived in Nauru this
morning (Friday 19 October) taking the number of asylum seekers, in
the increasingly crowded detention centre, to around 330.

But asylum seekers on Nauru continue to protest. A united protest of
all detainees was held on Wednesday 17 October, demanding that
processing of refugee claims start immediately and that the Australian
government stop sending asylum seekers to Nauru. 

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UN refugee chief urges simpler asylum process

IMPROVING PROCEDURES for asylum-seekers in Ireland would reduce the current backlog, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said in Dublin yesterday.
The former Portuguese prime minister said he was engaged in “a very constructive dialogue” with the Department of Justice and Equality on the issue.
He said this dialogue was “in relation to potential improvements in the Irish asylum system, namely the possibility, through legislation, of the simplification of procedures”.
He was also seeking to “improve the quality of the decisions”.
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Action urged on direct provision

SEANAD: TREVOR Ó Clochartaigh (SF) said an asylum seeker in a direct provision hostel had told him yesterday that he was suicidal. This man was deeply upset about being uprooted again. The centre in question was to be closed without consultation. He hoped fellow Senators would intervene with Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to get him to sit down with Oireachtas representatives from Galway to hear their representations.

Mr Shatter had said that the manner in which such centres operated needed to be reviewed.

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Government to proceed with Lisbrook House closure

 Residents at Galway’s Lisbrook House were dealt a major blow this morning, amid confirmation that the closure of the facility will go ahead as planned. 
The 273 residents at the centre, located at the former Ibis Hotel on Headford Road, had hoped for a u-turn on the closure of the centre, which was first announced in early September. The move is part of an “ongoing programme of consolidation” of Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) accommodation nationally.
Hopes were raised with Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter agreed to review the decision but Galway Deputy Sean Kyne confirmed today that the Minister has announced that the decision to close Lisbrook House will stand.
“This decision has largely been reached because of the over-supply of accommodation in the RIA system. Currently, the RIA has nearly 15 per cent more accommodation than it requires and the State does not have the luxury of paying for accommodation it does not need and which will remain empty,” he said.
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Emmanuel Landa is the latest victim of the brutal system imposed by the state on those seeking refuge in Ireland. Emmanuel, a political refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2005 and spent the last seven years of his life in the direct provision system.
It is ironic that a few days before his unnecessary death, the latest report to condemn this system was launched. Direct provision has been deplored by many reputable organisations since it was first introduced in 2000. At that time Fianna Fail Justice Minister, John O’Donoghue, stated that the system would hold people for 6 months only.

Deportation is the fate that faces most asylum seekers. Ireland has the lowest rate of granting refugee status in the EU, less than 2%. Waiting for the knock on the door at 5am causes a range of mental conditions.

Emmanuel Landa suffered the full impact of this system. After spending years languishing in the direct provision system, when he was denied the right to work, he was given a deportation order. The government attempted to implement this order in the spring of 2011. Because of the NATO enforced no-fly zone over Libya, the plane was denied a flight path over Algeria. The plane returned to Ireland.

This experience had a detrimental effect on Emmanuel’s health. He never recovered. He lived in the Mosney centre, in the care of the state, but he died a sad lonely death sometime last Thursday. His body was not recovered until tea time on Friday.

Anti Deportation Ireland condemns the state for failing Emmanuel Landa. Over 50 people in direct provision have passed away in the last 10 years. No record on the cause of these deaths is available. We cannot allow anybody else to suffer the same fate as Emmanuel.
Direct provision needs to end immediately, asylum seekers should be given the right to work and nobody else should have to face the horror of deportation.


Amendment will do nothing for hungry asylum children

Passing the children’s referendum may be seen as a great victory when it is no such thing, writes BREDA O'BRIEN
A TRULY shocking report was published this week about conditions endured by children in our country. The report described small babies without adequate food, weight loss in children, and chronic gastric illness in children of all ages. The same children were identified as being at risk of abuse due to overcrowding in their accommodation, which included sharing toilet facilities with numerous strangers.
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Your views on the Children’s Rights referendum?

Yesterday saw the launch, by the Irish Refugee Council, of an excellent report entitled "State Sanctioned Child Poverty and Exclusion." This dealt with the case of children in the direct provision system. The report states that these children often go hungry and are living in extreme poverty.

Today the government published the wording of the amendment to the Irish constitution which will be put to the electorate in November. The first paragraph reads, "The State recognises and affirms the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children and shall, as far as practicable, by its laws protect and vindicate those rights."

This raises a number of issues, as the referendum refers to " all children", does it include the children of asylum seekers, many of whom were born here.
If that is so, then the conditions outlined in the Refugee Council report will put the government at variance with the constitution, if the referendum is carried.
This needs to be clarified in advance of the referendum. Use what ever influence you have to have the matter raised in the Dail.

Asylum children in 'extreme poverty' 

A damning report on the plight of children in the State’s asylum process suggests many families are living in circumstances of extreme poverty in overcrowded accommodation with inadequate food.

The report, published today by the Irish Refugee Council (IRC), paints a grim picture of the State’s system for accommodating asylum seekers, known as direct provision.

It documented frequent instances of malnutrition among children and expectant mothers as well as illnesses related to diet among babies and young children.

The study, which reviewed the provision of direct accommodation in Ireland over the past decade, highlighted cases of weight loss among children and hunger among adults because of strict family rationing.

In one case, a reception centre in Co Mayo stipulated that once a child reached six months, no more baby or toddler foods would be provided.......
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Justice minister to review Lisbrook closure decision 

Galway Advertiser, September 13, 2012.
The future of residents at Lisbrook House asylum centre remains unclear this morning as the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, reviews the controversial decision to close the centre and initiate relocation proceedings.
The decision to postpone the closure of the centre located off Bothar na dTreabh came at the 11th hour yesterday amidst reports that buses were making their way to the premises to begin the transfer of a number of the residents, a move which would have been met by opposition from protesters gathered at the scene.
Protests have been taking place at Lisbrook House since Tuesday after it was announced last week by the Refugee Integration Agency and Department of Justice that the centre, formerly the Ibis Hotel, was to close. More than 270 asylum seekers were given notification that they were to be relocated to other locations around the country. It is understood that at least 100 residents had been told that they would be moved within 48 hours after only being given one week’s notice.

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The Asylum Millionaires

Millions of euro are paid to asylum seeker landlords, thanks to Government decisions to force asylum seekers into 'direct provision' centres. By Colin Murphy and Noirin Byrne Sixty-nine companies and individuals have been paid €165 million for accommodation for asylum seekers since 2002, an average of nearly a quarter of a million euro each (?239,130).

Just three of these companies have earned over €37 million between them and one of them, East Coast Catering, was paid €15.5 million.

East Coast Catering is run by Denis Williams of Dundalk and has three accommodation centres, two in Dublin, Balseskin and Hatch Hall (the former Jesuit university hostel) and a centre in Dundalk.

A company associated with the well-known Millstreet businessman, Noel C Duggan, has the second most lucrative set of contracts from the Reception and Integration Agency. Millstreet Equestrian Services has been paid €11.6 million for its network of accommodation centres in the south west. (Although he is listed as a director of the company, Noel C Duggan said he has “nothing to do with asylum seekers”. The company is run by his son, Thomas Duggan, who has a 49.9 per cent shareholding.)

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Systems for asylum seekers are ‘inadequate’

Galway Advertiser, September 29, 2011.
A chara,
On October 6, Ireland’s human rights record will be examined by other member states of the United Nations under the Universal Periodic Review. In submissions for the Universal Periodic Review by human rights organisations, civil society coalitions, and NGOs, the issue of the living conditions for asylum seekers was a concern highlighted most often in the various submissions. In light of this it is timely to highlight the inadequacies of the system of direct provision for asylum seekers in Ireland.
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Closure of Asylum center critised

The Irish Times - Monday, September 10, 2012
SEVERAL HUNDRED asylum seekers and their children in Galway face an uncertain future due to the sudden closure of their accommodation centre in the city.
The Department of Justice has confirmed up to 300 families are to be relocated from Lisbrook centre, formerly the Ibis Hotel, as part of an “ongoing consolidation” of accommodation for asylum seekers across the State.
More than 80 per cent of the residents of various nationalities have been in direct provision accommodation for more than four years.
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