MUTUKULA — UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, says it is deeply concerned by a series of messages of distress it has been receiving from a group of 10 asylum–seekers currently in a detention facility in Mutukula, in northwestern Tanzania.
The asylum-seekers have expressed fears for their safety upon being deported from Tanzania.
UNHCR consistently advocates that refugees and asylum-seekers, including those who claim to be in need of international protection, cannot be returned to their countries of origin until their claims have been properly assessed by the competent authorities, in accordance with the principle of non-refoulement.
Non-refoulement is an international principle that prevents states from expelling or returning persons to a territory where their life or freedom would be threatened.
UNHCR is appealing to the Government of Tanzania for immediate access to the detained asylum-seekers in order to assist with the assessments of their individual claims.
UNHCR is hopeful that the responsible authorities in Tanzania will work with us to resolve this situation in accordance with their obligations under international law.