Information was received about the alleged ill-treatment of asylum-seekers by immigration and police officers in late 1992. In June a law was passed legalizing homosexual acts between people aged 17 and over. Inquiries begun in 1992 into the alleged ill-treatment of a group of asylum-seekers continued during the year. Twenty-seven Turkish Kurds, who had sought asylum when they arrived at Shannon Airport in November on a flight from Cuba to Moscow, were allegedly assaulted and verbally abused by immigration and police officers. The Irish immigration authorities allegedly refused them permission to apply for asylum and denied them access to a lawyer, an interpreter, or a representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. When they refused to board the flight to Moscow, the police and immigration authorities tried to force them onto the aeroplane. During the ensuing struggle the Kurds were allegedly kicked, punched, beaten with batons, pulled by the hair and dragged along the ground. Eventually, they were sent to Canada, where their asylum claims were being considered. In December legal proceedings on behalf of the Kurds were started against government authorities claiming damages for assault, battery, unlawful removal and breach of constitutional rights. In January Amnesty International called on the Irish Government to initiate an independent and impartial inquiry into the incident. In August Amnesty International was informed that the Minister of Justice had requested the Commissioner of the Gardai (police) to carry out an investigation and report back to the Minister. No information about the findings of this investigation had reached Amnesty International by the end of the year. Amnesty International wrote to the government in June welcoming the proposed new legislation governing sexual offences which would decriminalize consensual homosexual acts between adults in private.

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