16 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Govt Flouting International Regulations

ZIMBABWE is flouting international regulations on illegal immigrants by forcing immigrants to fund their own deportation resulting in most of them spending more than two years in detention.

Human rights lawyer Jeremiah Bhamu said while the United Nations Conventions on Refugees place the obligation of funding deportations on the host country, deportees in Zimbabwe are forced to foot the bill to avoid indefinite detention.

"Unfortunately, Zimbabwe's Immigration Act doesn't specify how long a person should be kept in remand awaiting deportation and this leaves desperate immigrants with little choice but to fund their own deportation," Bhamu said.

Justice deputy minister Obert Gutu said: "We may be violating international conventions on the issue of illegal immigrants, but this is because of scarce resources which force us to use the limited funds from Treasury to provide food, clothes and other resources to better prisoners' lives."

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