Methodist Church response to the Prime Minister's statements about foreign criminals

Anthea Cox, Coordinating Secretary for the Methodist Church has expressed concerns over Tony Blair's statements at Prime Minister's Question Time regarding the deportation of foreign criminals:

"Whilst concern about crime should be taken seriously, we have a moral obligation not to send people back to regimes where they will suffer gravely and could even face execution. We are seriously concerned about the implications of Mr. Blair's comments for human rights.

"Our criminal justice system sentences people according to their crimes, not on the basis of nationality. We need a sense of proportion and to look at each case individually - sending people back to unsafe situations would be disproportionate punishment in most cases.

"News stories and political responses such as this one from the Prime Minister unfortunately spread the idea that immigrants cannot be trusted - we have the opportunity and responsibility to take in people who need our help and to educate one another against prejudice."

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