Leading human rights lawyer Baroness Helena Kennedy has praised a new publication about asylum in Britain, co-authored by the director of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality, Dr Edie Friedman.
Addressing the launch of Reluctant Refuge: The Story of Asylum in Britain, Baroness Kennedy declared: “This book is an incredible resource for anybody who wants to campaign on this issue and I want to see it in the hands of every MP.” It was vital to preserve the stories of past generations who had sought asylum in Britain.
Criticising New Labour’s attitude towards asylum seekers, Baroness Kennedy went on to decry what she termed a culture of disbelief by immigration officials. Asylum seekers were considered guilty until proven innocent, she claimed.
Hampstead’s Freud Museum was an apposite venue for the launch as the former home of Sigmund Freud, who fled to London from Nazi-occupied Vienna in 1938.
Designed as a layperson’s guide to asylum, the book was written by Dr Friedman in collaboration with journalist Reva Klein. It is available from selected bookstores, or from Jcore.