Socialist Worker

Afghan refugee protest

Issue No. 1851

'THERE ARE schools, but there's no equipment in them. The shops are open, but there is nothing on the shelves. Afghanistan is a lawless country.'

This is what an Afghan protester said at last Sunday's 350-strong demonstration in Whitehall against the mass deportation of 21 Afghan asylum seekers two weeks ago. Rumours are that at least two of the deportees are now dead, one after committing suicide and the other from a heart attack.

Many of those sent back in home secretary David Blunkett's latest bout of 'get tough on asylum seekers' policies have disappeared into what one protester called a country of warlords.

As one speaker said: 'All we want is to be allowed to work and pay our taxes. Yet the government is sending us back. There is no police, no security. The US and Britain said they would support us. But where are they? The West has abandoned us. Now, when we go for a job and people see we are from Afghanistan, they say we are from a terrorist country, and we don't get the job.'

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Sat 17 May 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1851
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