Biafra: UK Offers Asylum to IPOB, MASSOB Members | #IgbereTV
The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has released new guidelines to its decision makers on how to consider and grant asylum applications by members of Biafran secessionist groups, IgbereTV has learned..
Asylum is to be granted to “persecuted” members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian government, and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
In the just-released ‘Country Policy and Information Note Nigeria: Biafran secessionist groups’ seen by TheCable, the UKVI, a division of the Home Office, directed its decision makers to consider if a person “who actively and openly supports IPOB is likely to be at risk of arrest and detention, and ill-treatment which is likely to amount to persecution”.
According to the guidelines, the decision makers “must also consider if the [Nigerian] government’s actions are acts of prosecution, not persecution. Those fleeing prosecution or punishment for a criminal offence are not normally refugees. Prosecution may, however, amount to persecution if it involves victimisation in its application by the authorities”.
An example of persecution, the UKVI said, is “if it is the vehicle or excuse for or if only certain groups are prosecuted for a particular offence and the consequences of that discrimination are sufficiently severe. Punishment which is cruel, inhuman or degrading (including punishment which is out of all proportion to the offence committed) may also amount to persecution They are also to “consider each case on its facts to determine if the person is likely to be of interest to the [Nigerian] government and whether this is for the legitimate grounds of prosecution which is proportionate and non-discriminatory”.