Scottish National Party MP, Alison Thewliss, today pressed the UK Government to provide “safety and certainty” and grant refugee status to asylum seekers from Yemen.
Taking part in an exchange with Foreign Office Minister, Tobias Ellwood, regarding breaches of humanitarian law in Yemen, the Glasgow Central MP said the Government was failing woefully to help provide certainty to Yemeni asylum seekers.
With most of the debate between MPs and the Minister focusing on British arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen, Ms Thewliss seized on recent figures from the Home Office which show that in the second quarter of 2016 alone thirteen Yemenis were refused asylum in the UK and a further fifty-seven applications were still showing as pending. She called upon Foreign Office Minister, Tobias Ellwood, to help provide certainty to Yemeni asylum seekers.
Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:
“It beggars belief that the Foreign Office are aware of the awful humanitarian crisis in the Yemen, yet the Home Office – in their characteristically obtuse manner – still have their heads in the sand.
“The most recent Home Office statistics show that they’ve rejected asylum claims from thirteen Yemeni asylum seekers. Where exactly do they expect them to go if they don’t want to give them refugee status? Are they seriously suggesting they should return to Yemen which is quite literally a war zone?
“Equally as bad is the fact that the Home Office have kicked another fifty-seven asylum applications into the long grass with no decision. These people urgently need certainty; people are lying awake at night worrying whether they will be forced to return to a country suffering brutal conflict and severe humanitarian disaster.
“Ministers need to show some humanity and grant Yemeni citizens status in the UK, not leave them in fear of being returned to a war zone”.