The Windrush scandal revealed the impossible burden placed on individuals to prove their entitlement to be in the UK. Freedom From Torture has brought together refugee charities, campaigning and community groups and faith leaders behind a joint open letter to the Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, highlighting that this hostile environment surrounding decision-making is endemic across the Home Office, and urging a more humane approach when dealing with asylum applications, and reasonable application of the standard of proof. The letter highlights cases where victims of torture seeking refuge in the UK are being driven to suicide by the Home Office’s immigration system, which “accuses them of telling lies, even as they try to tell the truth.” It calls on the Home Secretary to ensure the Windrush lessons learned review looks as well at the misapplication of the standard of proof as a systemic HO problem; and to agree to an independent public audit of the application of the standard of proof in asylum decision-making. The full letter and signatories can be found here and the Guardian coverage here.

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