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'We are not returning people to Syria,' UK Home Office says

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 12: A general view of a Home Office visa and immigration centre on October 12, 2019 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
A general view of a Home Office visa and immigration centre on October 12, 2019 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. [Matthew Horwood/Getty Images]

The UK's Home Office has assured that it does not plan on sending Syrian refugees and asylum seekers back to Syria, after it rejected one of their asylum applications and claimed that Syria was "safe" to return to.

Last week, it was revealed that the Home Office sent a letter to a Syrian asylum seeker in the UK informing him that his country was safe to return to. The letter claimed that the governmental body was "not satisfied to a reasonable degree of likelihood that you have a well-founded fear of persecution".

The basis for that view was that the man only evaded military conscription by the regime of Bashar Al-Assad, instead of fleeing on the grounds of being a political dissident, resulting in the government disagreeing that he is eligible for asylum in the UK.

On Tuesday, however, the Home Office stated on Twitter that "In the current circumstances we are not returning people to Syria. The UK Government agrees with the UN judgement that Syria remains unsafe for them."

That sentiment was backed up by Jonathan Hargreaves, the UK's Special Representative for Syria, who said that Britain's "position remains unchanged: Syria is not currently safe for refugee returns. We are not sending people back to Syria."

It was not made clear whether the Home Office's tweet was in response to the reports about the asylum seeker's application refusal, but many see the Home Office's assurance as an attempt to calm the condemnation that those reports resulted in.

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Europe & RussiaMiddle EastNewsSyriaUK
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