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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 July, 2005, 19:30 GMT 20:30 UK
UK suspends removals to Zimbabwe
Anti-Mugabe protester outside Zimbabwe Embassy, London
Cases will be heard on August 4
The removal of failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe has been suspended, the UK Home Office has confirmed.

Deportations will stop until after High Court hearings to test their legality.

Some Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers say they are in danger of being ill-treated if they return home because they claimed asylum in the UK.

The Home Office said it took the decision after two judges had commented on the cases - to be heard on August 4 - but overall policy has not changed.

Hunger strike

Mr Justice Collins has appealed to Home Secretary Charles Clarke to block all deportations until the test cases had taken place.

On Wednesday, one Zimbabwean, who cannot be removed because he has started judicial review proceedings, launched an action on behalf of other failed asylum seekers held at detention centres around the country.

He is backed by the Refugee Legal Centre and asked Mr Justice Ouseley to grant an injunction preventing any removals until after the test cases were heard.

He also asked for an order against the Home Secretary requiring him to notify all failed asylum seekers of their right to apply for judicial review.

The government opposed the application. The case was adjourned for 24 hours.

Zimbabwean failed asylum seekers on Monday suspended a hunger strike protesting at forced deportations.

Home Office lawyers have said there is no evidence of any systematic abuse of failed asylum seekers returned to Zimbabwe.

Halt Zimbabwe removals says judge
06 Jul 05 |  UK Politics
UK to continue Zimbabwe returns
27 Jun 05 |  UK Politics

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