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Monday, 9 March 2009

Mister X back in UK

NB: Due to legal advice, this post has been edited

LGBT Asylum News has been informed that XXXXXX gay asylum seeker J+++ B++++ is back in the UK.

B++++ was the Mister X who a judge recently ordered the Home Office to return to the UK.

He returned to the UK on Friday 6 March and was immediately taken to Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre, which is near Gatwick airport.

The judge had said that the Home Office "deliberately misled" Mr B++++ and effectively deprived him of his right to seek legal advice before his removal.

Their actions were calculated "to avoid any complication that could arise from his removal becoming publicly known", said the judge.

In a statement seen by the court Mr B++++ said that, last September, he was deceived into thinking he was being taken from Tinsley House immigration removal centre for an interview with an immigration officer.

Instead, without warning, he was taken in a van by four security men to a plane.

He said that when he resisted leaving the van he was handcuffed, punched in his private parts to make him straighten his legs so they could be belted together. Crying, he was lifted on to the plane and flown out of the country.

His mobile phone had been taken from him and he was given no chance to contact friends or lawyers, even though Home Office rules required that he should have 72 hours' notice of removal to give him a chance to make calls.

The judge said he was also satisfied that the actions of the Border Agency officers were "deliberately calculated to avoid any complication that could arise from Mr B++++ 's removal becoming publicly known."

The judge said agency officers must have known the 72-hour requirement was designed to provide an opportunity for a person being removed to have access to a lawyer for legal advice and possibly for the courts to become involved in the case.

Mr B++++ first arrived in the UK in September 2001 and worked here for some seven years before being earmarked for removal after the failure of his original asylum claim.

Michael Woolley, the coordinator of the Haslar Visitors’ Group that represents the interests of asylum seekers, said: “The way these arrests are carried out is disgraceful, without any chance to put affairs in order.

“J+++ has signed regularly at a police station for years, and there is no reason to think he would abscond. Yet he was given no notice, no opportunity to pack a bag, to say goodbye to his friends or to sell his car.”

B++++ has been working with mentally ill people in Portsmouth while his application to stay in the UK has been heard.

He fled to the UK from U+++++ where homosexuality is illegal and carries a punishment of life in prison.

His case has attracted publicity in U+++++.

Mr B++++ said in a statement seen by the court that, on his return to his homeland, his circumstances had become "quite desperate".

He had been beaten up during a period in detention and he had now gone into hiding to avoid being interviewed by the police about his homosexuality.

The judge said the evidence before him made it perfectly plain that Mr B++++ had come to the notice of the authorities, and this had added to the risk of his human rights being breached by reason of his homosexuality.

In rejecting the Home Office's argument that it was safe to return Mr B++++ to U+++++ the judge said: "I find it impossible to conclude, on the basis of the evidence as it now is, that there is not the real possibility that a judge might find that he is at risk if he is returned (to his homeland) by reason of his homosexuality."

Another U+++++ gay asylum seeker U+++++ lesbian asylum seeker P+++++ K+++++++ recently won her case to stay in the UK.

She was handed over to the police by her own family and was raped and tortured by the police. The Home Office denied her asylum claim on the basis that they were 'the random action of individuals'.

A supporter of B++++ said regarding K++++++ and the situation in U+++++:

"This would be a defensible argument if the men in question had been prosecuted by the authorities. They have not."

Update: B++++ has been released from detention


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