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As British tightens immigration law

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Followers of news, events, information and development from the United Kingdom would have noticed that the hottest topic on the lips of most British politicians and bureaucrats is immigration.

Immigration is a big issue in Great Britain given their peculiar and unique circumstances regarding the sudden upsurge in the number of irregular migrants that pour into Great Britain through the dangerous canals connecting Britain through France. Besides, border security and affiliated issues are key to defining the sovereign authority of a nation state.

In view of the aforementioned background information, I perfectly understand and appreciate the fact that the British government has an obligation to control the levels of migration into their Country given the increasing rates of costs of living and the economic crises that were thrown up by COVID-19 pandemic that slowed down the economic fortunes of many nations. Controlling migration also addresses the critical questions associated with national security and wellbeing of a nation.

But the British people and their government do also understand that they need to balance their fears for massive irregular migration into their jurisdiction from all kinds of places but most especially from the middle East and Far East, and to realize that as an advanced economy and a good member of the international community, that prosperous nation of Great Britain owe refugees the duty of care and security in a World that has become increasingly terrorized by wars, famines, economic brigandage, political upheavals and dictatorships.

Specifically, the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol are the key legal documents that form the basis of UNHCR’s work.

They define the term ‘refugee’ and outline their rights and the international standards of treatment for their protection.

Refugees are among the most vulnerable people in the world. The 1951 Refugee Convention, supplemented by its 1967 Protocol, help protect them.

They are the cornerstone of refugee protection and the key legal documents that form the basis of UNHCR’s work.

The 1951 Convention provides the internationally recognized definition of a refugee and outlines the legal protection, rights and assistance a refugee is entitled to receive.

UNHCR serves as the ‘guardian’ of these documents. We also help governments translate them into national laws to ensure refugees are protected and can excise their rights.

Core principles

The core principle of the 1951 Convention is non-refoulement, which asserts that a refugee should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom.

The document outlines the basic minimum standards for the treatment of refugees, including the right to housing, work and education while displaced so they can lead a dignified and independent life. It also defines a refugee’s obligations to host countries and specifies certain categories of people, such as war criminals, who do not qualify for refugee status.

In addition, it details the legal obligations of the States that are party to one or both of these instruments.

History of the 1951 Convention

In the aftermath of the First World War (1914 – 1918), millions of people fled their homelands in search of refuge. Governments responded by drawing up a set of international agreements to provide travel documents for these people who were, effectively, the first recognized refugees of the 20th century. Their numbers increased dramatically during and after the Second World War (1939-1945), as millions more were forcibly displaced.

In response, the international community steadily assembled a set of guidelines, laws and conventions aimed at protecting the basic human rights and treatment of p…

[04:40, 22/06/2023] Emmanuel Onwubiko: Mass Sacking: Sparing DSS DG Yusuf Bichi Unacceptable, HURIWA Tells Tinubu

…Asks President to Probe DSS Affairs Since 2018

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Thursday, asked President Bola Tinubu to act boldly and sack the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi just as the President fired all service chiefs and heads of security agencies.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the decision of the President to spare 67-year-old Bichi is discriminatory, unfair, unjust, irrational and unacceptable.

The group said the DSS, since Bichi’s appointment as the secret police boss in September 2018 by former President Muhammadu Buhari, has been given to impunity, dictatorial styles typical of the military, disregard for due process, midnight Gestapo and bloody raids, as well as flagrant contravention of court orders.

 

HURIWA asked the President to order a comprehensive probe into the DSS activities under Bichi after sacking him, saying that he must answer for alleged crimes against humanity including alleged bloody killings of innocent citizens in their homes as had happened during their raid in the Yoruba nation chieftain’s Ibadan residence.

HURIWA said the DSS urgently needs reforms and total overhaul because the goal of democracy is both hollow and defeated when state agents serially take the law into their own hands.

In October 2022, a Federal High Court in Umuahia ordered the release of separatist agitator, Nnamdi Kanu, the secret police ignored the order. An Appeal Court sitting in Abuja also ordered the release of Kanu but the DSS won’t obey the order.

In August 2019, the agency invaded the residence of activist, Omoyele Sowore, arrested and detained him for leading the #RevolutionNow protests. He was not released until December 2019 despite being granted bail by different courts which also declared the clampdown on his group as illegal.

Also, in July 2021, the DSS, in a Gestapo style, carried out a bloody midnight raid on the Ibadan residence of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo also known as Sunday Igboho, killing two of his aides.

HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The DSS knack for midnight raids and disregard for court orders including the continuous detention of leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu is alarming under Bichi.

“The failure of President Bola Tinubu to sack DG DSS when he sacked others of his colleagues is discriminatory, unfair, unjust, irrational and unacceptable because the negativity of the other disreputable office holders affected all heads of security institutions under former President Muhammadu Buhari.

“It is still unthinkable why the DG DSS is still allowed to remain in office. Could it be that Bichi is being used to witch-hunt political opponents or adversaries of Tinubu like Bawa of EFCC, Emefiele etc.? This is unacceptable and amounts to apartheid and selective dismissal. The President should overhaul the security apparatus of the country once and not spare any sacred cow.”

The President had on Monday sacked all service chiefs and appointed new ones but Bichi survived the shake-up and his son had since gone online to boast about this.

Those affected in the unprecedented shakeup include Alkali Usman who was removed as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Lucky Irabor, sacked as the Chief of Defence Staff; Faruk Yahaya, retired as the Chief of Army Staff; Awwal Gambo, removed as the Chief of Naval Staff; and Isiaka Amao, retired as Chief of Air Staff.

The President subsequently appointed new service chiefs in the country and named a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, as his new National Security Adviser (NSA). Ribadu replaces Babagana Monguno as the nation’s NSA.

Maj. Gen. C.G Musa is now the Chief of Defence Staff, Maj. Gen T. A Lagbaja is now the Chief of Army Staff, Rear Admiral E. A Ogalla now the Chief of Naval Staff, AVM H.B Abubakar now the Chief of Air Staff, DIG Kayode Egbetokun now the Acting Inspector-General of Police and Maj. Gen. EPA Undiandeye is now the Chief of Defense Intelligence.

Tinubu also approved the appointment of Adeniyi Adewale as the Acting Comptroller General of Customs. He takes over from Hameed Ali.

By Emmanuel Onwubiko

National Coordinator

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA)

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