BusinessDay

IPOB not proscribed as terrorist organisation in UK – High Commission

The United Kingdom (UK) government has debunked reports that it has added the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to its list of terrorist groups or organisations banned under UK law.

“We are aware of inaccurate reporting circulating in the media and online. IPOB is not a proscribed organisation in the UK,” the British High Commission said in a statement on Friday signed by Atinuke Akande-Alegbe, its senior communications and public diplomacy officer.

“The inaccurate reporting relates to the 13 April 2022 publication by the UK Government of a revised Country Policy and Information note (CPIN) on separatist groups in South East Nigeria, including IPOB. CPINs provide country of origin information (COI) and analysis of COI for use by UK Government decision-makers handling particular types of protection and human rights claim,” the statement added.

According to reports, UK authorities designated IPOB as a terrorist organisation and barred its members from seeking asylum over human rights violations.

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The High Commission in the statement noted that the CPIN only acknowledged that the Nigerian government has proscribed IPOB as a terrorist organisation, and some of its members have reportedly used violence against the state and members of the public; and advises that persons who have committed human rights abuses must not be granted protection.

The Commission explained that asylum and human rights claims made in the UK are considered on their individual facts in accordance with its obligations under the UN Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights, taking into account relevant background country information and case law.

“The CPIN on separatist groups in the South East, including the IPOB, provides a general assessment of risks faced by individuals belonging to those groups. These assessments are based on an analysis of publicly available country information obtained from a wide range of reliable sources including media outlets; UK and other governments; local, national and international organisations; and non-government organisations,” the statement added.