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Inability to Deport Foreign Criminals and Terrorist Operatives

Comment 7th July 2010

The British government is prevented at present by a host of statutes, precedents and European court rulings from deporting foreign nationals and immigrants who are convicted of serious crimes or found to be members of proscribed, often terrorist organisations back to their countries of origin where those countries are thought not to place the same emphasis on so-called "human rights" as we do. We need not necessarily be talking about North Korea; quite often these "unsafe" nations are members of the Commonwealth, and objections can even be raised when deporting someone to the United States on grounds that the Americans retain the death sentence.

The state's first duty being to protect the law-abiding in general and its own citizens in particular, these impediments to the deportation of foreign criminals and terrorist operatives should all be swept away and the individuals concerned compelled to lie in the beds they have made for themselves.  I thought we weren't supposed to pass judgements on the cultures of others anymore, anyway?

Why does this matter?

The problem was thrown into sharp relief recently by a Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruling on one Abid Naseer, a foreign national found to be an al-Qaeda operative who had been plotting terrorist action in our Kingdom.

"We are satisfied that Naseer was an al-Qaeda operative who posed and still poses a serious threat to the national security of the United Kingdom," the judgement said, adding that: "Subject to the issue of safety on return, it is conducive to the public good that he should be deported."

The Commission ultimately did not decide to deport Naseer, however, on the grounds that in Pakistan, a Commonwealth member and ally in the so-called "War on Terror", there "[I]s a long and well-documented history of disappearances, illegal detention and of the torture and ill-treatment of those detained, usually to produce information, a confession or compliance,".

We now have what has been long susepcted it in black and white now, at least: the safety of the foreign terrorist intending harm to the British people takes priority over the safety of the British citizen. This is a wholly unacceptable state of affairs.

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