【本報訊】關注難民權益的本港非政府組織 Vision First 指政府於過去20年來，收到超過12,400宗酷刑聲請，尋求庇護，但只有3宗獲批，比率只有0.02%，遠低於其他發達國家，質疑負責審批的入境處官員和上訴委員會成員的決策質素，以及聲請人未能得到足夠的法律協助。
號召難民周六遊行 - Vision First施小姐表示，尋求庇護者匆匆逃離國家，要在限時的28天提供證明文件存在困難；一些求助者表示，個別當值律師未能給予協助。她表示，港府於92年簽署聯合國有關禁止酷刑的公約，原由聯合國難民專員公署審批聲請，但程序透明度低；04年由港府設立甄別機制，到08年5月才有首宗成功個案，到今年3月和4月再有兩宗成功個案，一宗涉及一家五口，其中兩名子女在港出生。
[Translation] Vision First, an NGO advocates for refugees, says the government has received over 12,400 torture claims in the past 20 years, but the government has only recognised three claims. This recognition rate of 0.02 per cent is severely lagging behind that of liberal democracies. They draw into question the quality of decision-making of immigration officers and appeal court members, as well as the adequacy of legal assistance offered to torture claimants.
Appeal to refugees to march on Saturday - Ms. Sze of Vision First says, asylum seekers fled their countries in a rush, it is difficult for the claimants to provide evidential proof in the required 28 days. Some claimants reflect that their assigned legal representatives are ineffective. She says, the Hong Kong Government signed up to the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) in 1992. UNHCR did the screening by then, but the process lacked transparency. The HK Government set up a screening mechanism in 2004, the first recognized case appeared not until May 2008. There have another 2 recognized cases in March and April this year, one of the cases is one single family of five members – of which two were born in Hong Kong.
The NGO appeals to refugees, torture survivors, NGOs and faith groups to march through the centre of Hong Kong on Saturday to protest at the government’s effective zero-percent protection rate. The NGO says that the asylum seekers in Hong Kong are from countries including Georgia, Togo, Sri Lanka, Iran and Liberia. They had been persecuted and tortured in their home countries for reasons such as political views, religion, race, uncovering dirty stories of political parties or against authoritarian government.