AI is concerned about the Hong Kong authorities’ policy of detaining Vietnamese asylum seekers. The detention is in practice automatic and for an indefinite term. This policy contravenes a number of international standards. The legislation makes no provision for the detention to be subject to judicial control nor does it provide an opportunity for detained asylum seekers to challenge the lawfulness of their detention. The only way to challenge a detention is to apply for a judicial review, which is not an effective remedy. Access to legal counsel in such cases has reportedly been made difficult. The result is that thousands of Vietnamese asylum seekers are arbitrarily detained, committed to detention by the order of an immigration officer and held, in many cases, for several years in prison-like conditions.
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