Prisoners of Terrorism? The impact of anti-terrorism measures on refugees and asylum seekers in Britain | Counter Terrorism

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This qualitative study aimed to explore refugees’ and asylum seekers’ views and experiences of the impact of anti-terrorism measures on their lives. 10 focus groups were held across Britain, with a total of 67 participants from refugee and asylum seeking communities. The range of issues discussed in the focus groups is reflected in the different sections of the report. The discussions brought up a variety of perspectives and experiences from the participating refugees and asylum seekers. These varied between focus group locations, as well as between the backgrounds and profiles of the groups and the individual participants. The study’s qualitative method enabled it to explore perceptions and experiences in depth. It did not seek to obtain a representative picture of the views of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK more generally. References to “refugees and asylum seekers” are based on the participants of this study, and the summary presented below simply reflects the key issues, experiences and views expressed in the group discussions. The study wanted to hear directly from diverse groups of refugees and asylum seekers and enable their voices to be heard in the wider debate.
  Refugee Council Prisoners of Terrorism?  The impact of anti-terrorism measures on refugees and asylum seekers in Britain  A Refugee Council Research ReportPrepared with a grant from Oxfam GB Written by Anja RudigerFebruary 2007 Embargoed until 12pm March 9th, 2007  Contents 1 Executive Summary 52 Introduction 73 Methodology 9 Rationale 9  Advisory Group 9 Sampling framework 9  Access strategy 10 Focus group sessions 11 Contributing organisations and individuals 114 Perceptions of terrorist threat 13 Refugees’ fear of terrorist attacks 13 Refugees’ fear of victimisation 145 Perceptions of public attitudes 16 Public fears and hostility 16 Responses to public fears 186 Perceptions of the media 19  7 Racism, Islamophobia and the impact on refugee integration 21 Racism and discrimination 21 Harassment and concerns about safety 22 Impact on Muslim refugees 23 Impact on community relations 248 Policy responses to terrorism 26 Perceptions of a volatile policy environment 26 Perceptions of government approach: linking asylum seekers with terrorists 26 Critical views of the definition of terrorism 28 Insecurities about deportation policies 299 Impact on civic and political participation 31 Glorification of terrorism and freedom of speech 32 Proscribed organisations and freedom of assembly 3410 Impact on asylum process and decisions 36 The asylum determination process 36 Exclusion from seeking refuge 38  11 Relations with the police 40 Experiences of police actions 40 Perceptions of the role of the police 41 Collaboration with the police 4112 Prevention of terrorism 43 How not to fight terrorism 43 How to counter the threat of terrorism 44Conclusion: Negative impact of anti-terrorism measures on refugees and asylum seekers 45 Impact on human rights culture 45 Impact on refugees’ lives 46
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