Duncan Lewis legal challenge will argue escalation of violence means no return to Afghanistan can be considered safe
Upper Tribunal to hear important judicial review on whether it is safe to return people to Afghanistan
16 April 2015
Politics.co.uk reported today that an important judicial review challenge will be heard next week on whether it is safe to return people to Afghanistan.
According to Politics.co.uk, Duncan Lewis Solicitors is set to argue that the 19 Afghans it is representing stand to be returned to a country where violence has become so severe that no return can be considered safe.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in February that civilian deaths rose 25 per cent to 3,699 in 2014. Reuters reported in December that the figures made 2014 the deadliest year on record for non-combatants.
As noted by Politics.co.uk, UNAMA said earlier this week that its most recent figures continued to show a trend of record high civilian casualties.
Politics.co.uk says that Duncan Lewis will argue that the claims of its clients should be considered as 'fresh' due to the rapid change of the situation in Afghanistan and the escalation of violence. Politics.co.uk stated: "They cannot leave Kabul, because it is not safe. They cannot stay in Kabul, because one of the country's own ministers has admitted it does not have the infrastructure to keep them secure. There is no such thing as a safe return to Afghanistan."
However, Politics.co.uk notes that a charter flight is scheduled to return mostly failed asylum seekers from the UK to Kabul just one day before the judicial review is heard.
"We consider it unusual and concerning that the Secretary of State continues to enforce removals to Afghanistan. We continue to seek generic relief suspending removals to Afghanistan in the light of the significant deterioration of the country situation. We consider that this is especially relevant given the pertinent hearing scheduled for the day after this charter flight," a spokesperson from Duncan Lewis was quoted as saying.
While no Home Office spokesperson was quoted by Politics.co.uk, an August 2014 country information and guidance report on security in Afghanistan by the Home Office summarises its policy by stating: "Despite a rise in civilian casualties in 2013 and the first half of 2014, indiscriminate violence in Afghanistan is not currently at such a level generally, or in a material part of the country, that any civilian, solely by being present there, would face a real risk of serious harm resulting in a breach of Article 15(c)."