U.N. rapporteur raps Britains’s law on fingerprinting foreigners
By Sara Sasaki
LONDON. July 18 – A special U.N. rapporteur on racism on Thursday criticized Britain’s new immigration legislation on fingerprinting and photographing all foreign visitors as a process 0f treating foreigners like criminals.
Ooudou Diene. on his last day of a six-day visit to Britain to conduct a follow-up of his report on racism, said at a press conference in London the immigration bill that just passed through Parliament on Wednesday “illustrates something I have been denouncing in my reports for four years.”
“It is the fact that, especially since Sept. 11. there has been a process of criminalization of foreigners” all over the world, he added.
The enacted legislation will allow immigration officials to take biometric data from foreigners age 16 and above as pari of measures to light terrorism, enabling them to check for past deportees and anyone designated as a terrorist by the justice minister.
But Diene warned that the fight against terrorism is being used against foreigners worldwide and governments are criminalizing them when they are actually supposed to protect them.
The measures of the new legislation exclude ethnic Irish and other permanent residents with special status, those under 16, those visiting Britain for diplomatic or official purposes, and those invited by the state.
But foreigners living in Britain without special permanent residence status such as those on a work visa will also be fingerprinted and photographed at immigration upon arrival.
Alter his visit t to Britain last July, Diene said racial discrimination in Britain is “deep and profound,” and expressed concerns over the treatment of Scottish indigenous people, Muslim and Hindu minorities living in Britain and new immigrants originating from Asia, the Middle East Africa.