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Court stops Sri Lanka from deporting foreign refugees after being challenged by Pakistani woman

Published on Aug 16, 2014 2:52 PM

COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's court of appeal has ordered a halt to the deportation of Afghan, Iranian and Pakistani refugees before their asylum claims are fully assessed, an official said Saturday.

The court order came after a Pakistani woman challenged Sri Lanka's decision to expel foreign nationals despite warnings that doing so may violate international law.

A court official said judge A.W.A. Salam, head of the Court of Appeal, had on Friday ordered the defence ministry to suspend the deportations.

"The case will be called again on August 29," said Lakshan Dias, a Sri Lankan lawyer representing the Pakistani petitioner. "For the moment we have stopped the refoulement (forced return)."

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