Jacqui Smith ordered to bring gay asylum seeker back to UK
The Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has been ordered by the High Court to have a gay asylum seeker, removed from the UK, brought back to Britain.
He was seeking asylum in Britain as, he claims, he feared persecution in his native country due to his sexuality, the Associated Press reports.
The man, known only as Mr X, was removed from the UK under false pretences in September 2008.
An attempt to remove Mr X was carried out on 14th September. At this time, he refused to cooperate, saying that his latest legal representations by the Refugee Legal Centre had not been answered.
The Refugee Legal Centre said that they had new evidence that could sway his asylum claim on the grounds of homophobic discrimination in his home country.
Four days later, before this new evidence could be hear, Mr X was told that he was being taken from Tinsley House immigration removal centre to speak to an immigration officer.
Instead, he was taken in a van to a plane bound for his country of origin.
On arrival, he claims that he was handcuffed, punched in the genitals, and had his legs belted together as he was carried onto the aircraft.
Mr X, 38, was not given the standard 72-hour notice period, in which he would be given a chance to call friends and legal support.
High Court deputy judge Sir George Newman said that Mr X’s removal was “manifestly unlawful” and that the Home Secretary must “use her best endeavours” to bring him back.
The judge added that the actions of the security staff were deliberately to “avoid any complication that could arise from his removal becoming publicly known.”
Judge Newman ruled that the UK Border Agency’s actions were “grave and serious.”
Legal representatives for the Home Office admitted that Mr X’s removal was unlawful, but argued that flying him back to the UK would only result in him again failing to obtain asylum.
A UK Border Agency spokesperson told PinkNews.co.uk:
“We are disappointed by the High Court’s decision.
“When somebody has been found to have no right to stay in the UK we expect them to leave voluntarily and if necessary will enforce their removal.
“It is important that individuals who have no right to be here are removed as part of robust immigration system.
“We are fully investigating what happened in this case.”
Mr X arrived in the UK in September 2001, working here until his asylum claim failed and he was selected for removal from the country.
Since returning to his home country, Mr X claims that he was beaten, and was hiding from the police, fearing interrogation over his sexuality.
He is expected to launch a claim for damages against the Government due to its conduct towards him.