[Sinn Fein]

13th May 2000

Government must end policy of criminalisation of asylum seekers

Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle member Aengus Ó Snodaigh at today's Anti Racism march in Dublin said:

``To date the government have adopted a policy on refugees and asylum seekers that is based on criminalisation and isolation and not on dealing with the issue in a responsible and humane manner. This policy is in stark contrast to the way in which we expect our citizens to be treated when they travel to other countries looking for work.

``It is also in stark contrast to the manner in which the government have addressed the widescale corruption in political life and business circles. I don't see the Department of Justice getting snatch squads together to swoop on the bribers, the Frank Dunlops of this state and the so-called democratic politicians who willingly and enthusiastically accepted bribes.

``I am a republican and my vision of a new Ireland is one that is inclusive, tolerant and based on equality for all. I am calling on the government to end its policy of criminalisation and instead introduce one based on the need to protect the human rights and dignity of all.''

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