UK criticised for refugee crackdown

UK urges tough line on Zimbabwe but is itself blasted for threat to expel refugees.

    Miliband called for tough UN sanctions against Zimbabwe [EPA]

    Stating that Mugabe's government had no legitimacy, he called for a transitional government to reflect the results of the March 29 presidential elections, which was won by the opposition.

    Calling for international sanctions against Mugabe, Miliband urged South Africa and the rest of the international community to "unite behind a tough, strong, clear [UN] security council resolution".

    Mugabe claimed victory in June's presidential election run-off after his opponent, Morgan Tsavangirai, who heads the Movement for Democratic Change, pulled out of the race following widespread reports of violence and intimidation.

    UK criticised
     

    Millions of Zimbabweans have fled the country [GALLO/GETTY]
    But back in London, refugee groups criticised the British government for threatening to send 11,000 refugees back to Zimbabwe after refusing their applications for asylum, cutting off financial help and denying them jobs.

    Al Jazeera's Richard Bestic, reported from London that the British interior ministry had said it would not force failed asylum-seekers to return to Zimbabwe.

    But refugee groups say letters were sent to hundreds of Zimbabwean asylum-seekers asking them to leave the UK.

    Zimbabwe's political conflict has forced thousands to seek refuge in neighbouring African nations or at foreign embassies in the capital, Harare.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.