HL Deb 27 September 2000 vol 616 c141WA
Baroness Whitaker

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Bassam of Brighton on 6 July (WA 150–151), whether they will specify the caseworkers' grounds for disbelieving the testimony of torture given by Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka between January 1999 and December 1999. [HL3773]

Lord Bassam of Brighton

As each application for asylum is considered individually, it is not possible to specify grounds for every Sri Lankan application refused during 1999 where torture was an issue; these will have been given in the individual reasons for refusal letters.

An asylum seeker's testimony of torture, and any medical evidence which may be supplied, is taken very seriously and weighed by the caseworker in the context of all the available evidence. If it is decided to refuse an application in which torture is alleged, the letter giving the reasons for refusal will explain how the medical evidence has been considered in relation the other evidence available and, if applicable, why the caseworker disagrees with the conclusion given in the medical report.