London – The Home Office has today awarded damages to a former asylum seeker who was removed from the UK over a decade ago over false allegations of involvement in the 9-11 attacks.
The man, who we will describe as MJ as he cannot be identified, sought to re-enter the UK in late December 2020 on the basis of his European Union rights built up over the past 10 years of lawful residence in Europe. Despite having documentation that entitled him to lawfully enter the UK before the Brexit deadline, he was detained and forcibly removed due to an exclusion order against him dating back to the 1990s.
Following the issuing of urgent judicial review proceedings, on the afternoon of 31 December 2020, a judge ordered the Home Office to withdraw the decision and to allow MJ to enter the UK before the Brexit deadline of 11pm that night.
However, MJ was unable to find a flight that would arrive in the UK within the stipulated time and was forced to fly to Dublin that evening and be driven across the border with the UK.
The Home Office has now conceded that she acted unlawfully and has agreed to award MJ damages and his legal costs.
Commenting on his legal victory, MJ said:
“My primary reason for returning to the UK was to care for my seriously disabled wife. Had the Home Office succeeded in excluding me from the UK, there would have been nobody to look after her. No amount of money can compensate me for what we have suffered but today’s award, coupled with the Home Secretary admission that she acted unlawfully, will help my wife and I now finally move forward and rebuild our lives. ”
Fahad Ansari of Riverway Law, the firm instructed in the claim, said:
“My client was treated in the most appalling manner by the Home Office. Despite providing unchallenged evidence that he was completely exonerated of the previous allegations, that he has no criminal convictions, and that he does not pose a threat to national security, the Home Secretary chose to remove him based on dated intelligence without even cursory consideration of his present circumstances.”
Muhammad Rabbani, Managing Director of CAGE said:
“MJ’s case is symptomatic of the gross miscarriages of justice we’ve seen as a result of the War on Terror post 2001. We often forget that these policies destroy lives and separate families. Today we’re happy that MJ is reunited with his family and can slowly begin to rebuild his life.”
Image courtesy George Olcott on flikr
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)