London – CAGE welcomes the verdict by Mr Justice Jay in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) yesterday morning, who ruled that two British citizens of Bangladeshi background, N3 and E3, must retain their British citizenship, despite efforts by the government to remove it.
In his ruling, Mr Justice Jay emphasised that removing citizenship rights from the two individuals who had not been convicted of any offence – one of whom was born in the UK, and another born in Bangladesh – would have rendered them stateless since they both lost Bangladeshi citizenship when they turned 21.
This positive outcome takes place at a time when the government has been using this power to exile people with little challenge.
N3, who is currently abroad and prevented from returning to the UK, told CAGE this morning:
“I am innocent of any wrongdoing yet I had to endure one whole year of being forcibly separated from my family, my friends and my community where I have grown up, gone to school and lived for all my life. Had I truly been a risk to national security why was I never arrested or charged while I was in the UK?
“There’s no difference between me and a white expat, but I was made stateless. This treatment seems to be unique to Muslims. I feel that my country stabbed me in the back by removing my citizenship right after I left the UK last year to return to running my business and carrying out important aid work in Turkey.”
“I’m pleased that this is now over. I really had no idea that I would succeed, it’s a blessing from Allah. Hopefully now the courts will force the Home Office to stop taking people’s citizenship away without any right – it’s a practice that belongs to medieval times”
Moazzam Begg, Outreach director for CAGE, said:
“The state has removed the citizenship of hundreds of people and exiled them with the use of secret evidence. This means that not only have individuals been left stateless, but they are also unable to see or adequately challenge the allegations against them.”
“Despite almost one new counter-terrorism bill introduced every year since 9/11, the state was unable to establish that these men were guilty of any wrongdoing to justify its decision to remove their citizenships.”
“Though this ruling is a positive step forward, it masks a larger systemic problem founded on the principle that dual nationals or those with ancestral connection to another country are deemed second class citizens whose nationality can be revoked by an administrative decision. Such decisions usually lead to very serious consequences including death, arbitrary arrest and rendition, and occur when an individual is usually out of the country, so that mounting an appeal is near impossible. We continue to call for an end to citizenship deprivation as it violates the principles of equal citizenship.”
Image courtesy of Flickr/chrisfleming
(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.)