November 16, 2005

Hussein Nasseri, an update

Some time ago, August 25, 2005 in fact, Tim Worstall highlighted what had happened to Mr Hussein Nasseri, linking to a piece by Willie Lupin of Musings from Middle England. He asked people to write to their MP's about it. I did and received this response via my MP Richard Younger-Ross.
It is regrettable that any individual should ever feel to take his/her own life. We recognize that many asylum claimants will be very disappointed if their applications are unsuccessful. Where the Home Office knows a particular asylum claimant is at risk of suicide or self-harm, it will of course take steps to minimise that risk. This includes at the time when the claimant is informed of a final removal and on arrival in the country of return. Unfortunately, it would be imposible for any government to monitor the state of mind of all claimants who are unsuccessful and we were unable to prevent the suicide of Mr Nasseri.

It would be wrong, however to conclude from the death of Mr Nasseri that the decision to reject his claim was incorrect. Both the home Office and independent judiciary have a duty to the public to administer an effective and fair immigration control. All decisions are subject via the Human Rights Act to the European Convention on Human Rights. The decision to refuse the application of Mr Nasseri was made in good faith after he had failed to demonstrate he would be persecuted on return to Iran.

The Government is committed to providing a safe haven for those who genuinely need it and will not seek to return anybody to a country where their life is considered to be at risk. However there is also need to preserve the integrity of our asylum system by returning to their home countries those who have not been able to demonstrate that they are in need of international protection.

Yours sincerely


Andy Burnham


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