UK Bars IPOB Members From Asylum, Declare Group As Terrorist Group.
The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), a section of the British Home Office, made this decision.
Last year, the UKVI gave its decision-makers new rules on how to analyze and grant IPOB asylum applications.
In a recent website update, the UKVI revised its position.
“The Nigerian government has designated IPOB as a terrorist group, and members of the organization and its paramilitary wing, the Eastern Security Network (founded in December 2020), have allegedly perpetrated human rights violations in Nigeria,” UKVI stated in its policy notes.
“MASSOB has been banned, but it is not a terrorist group in Nigeria. It, too, is said to have engaged in violent fights with authorities.
“Decision makers must assess whether one (or more) of the exclusion clauses under the Refugee Convention apply if a person has been associated with IPOB (and/or a linked organisation), MASSOB, or any other ‘Biafran’ group that incites or employs violence to achieve its goals.”
“Asylum should not be offered to anyone who violate human rights.”
According to the guidelines, decision makers must also check if there has been a previous application for a UK visa or another form of leave, with asylum applications matched to visas checked before the asylum interview.
According to the body, in order for an asylum application to be successful, decision-makers must consider each case on its own facts, such as the legal status, profile, size, and organization of the group/organization to which the person belongs and its activities; whether a person in the UK would wish to continue their activism if returned to Nigeria (if not, why not); and whether the group/organization has a presence in Nigeria as well as outside the country, as well as any evidence.
The person’s profile and political activities (including those conducted online), as well as relevant documentary or other evidence; family members’ profiles and activities; past treatment of the person; and evidence that their activities in the UK may have come to the attention of Nigerian security agencies are all factors to consider.
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