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Hong Kong court rejects refugees' bid for right to work

Published on Feb 18, 2014 7:12 PM

HONG KONG (AFP) - Hong Kong's top court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal by refugees petitioning for the right to work in a decision that activists warn will tarnish the city's human rights record.

The Court of Final Appeal unanimously rejected an appeal lodged by four refugees and torture claimants over their right to work, saying that there are no "constitutional rights" in local laws to grant them employment status.

The ruling upheld an earlier decision by a lower court in 2012. There is currently a ban on asylum seekers, torture claimants and refugees taking employment, unless they are granted a "discretionary permit" by immigration.

"Regrettably the court sweeps away fundamental rights and legal logic in the name of the vague concept of immigration control," a lawyer representing the protection claimants, Mr Mark Daly, told AFP.

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