Home secretary ignores court order and sends asylum seeker to Kabul

From The Guardian: An asylum seeker is holed up in a hotel room in Kabul in fear for his life after the home secretary breached a high court order not to remove him from the UK and instead put him on a plane back to Afghanistan.

Samim Bigzad, 23, says he is a prime target for the Taliban because he worked in construction for the Afghan government and American companies before he sought sanctuary in the UK.

Now he is back in Kabul he is even more fearful after a group of armed men in plain clothes arrived at the hotel on Wednesday and demanded to know his whereabouts.

Two high court judges have made separate orders calling for Bigzad to be brought back to the UK as a matter of urgency. The second states that the home secretary, Amber Rudd, is in contempt of court for breaching the first order not to remove Bigzad.

“I am very scared,” Bigzad said in a call from his hotel room in Kabul. “The people who work at the hotel are bringing food to me and have told me I must not leave this room at all. I think the hotel staff have a gun for protection if the men come back and try to force their way in.”

The first high court order preventing the asylum seeker’s removal was issued on Tuesday evening by Mr Justice Morris. By that time Bigzad had already been removed from the UK by the Home Office and had been put on to a Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul. From there he was due to board a connecting flight to Kabul.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Judge condemns Amber Rudd for ignoring orders to release torture victim

From The Guardian: A high court judge has said she is “deeply concerned” about the behaviour of Amber Rudd for failing to release a survivor of torture from detention despite repeated court orders requiring her to do so.

“The court is deeply concerned,” said Mrs Justice Nicola Davies DBE. “Four weeks have elapsed since an order was made.”

She added that the home secretary had failed to provide a satisfactory explanation for the delays in releasing the man from detention.

It is unusual for a high court judge to condemn a senior government minister in such strong terms. In a mark of her disquiet about the secretary of state’s conduct she not only awarded costs against her but also made an indemnity order – something reserved for conduct or circumstances that take a case “out of the norm” and a mark of disapproval by a judge.

The asylum seeker from Chad, who cannot be named for legal reasons, first applied for bail so that he could be released from immigration detention in April 2017. He experienced persecution both in his home country and on his journey to reach Europe when he was imprisoned in Libya.

Labour To Be Hit Hardest By Boundary Changes, Sparking Claims Of ‘Gerrymandering’

From HuffPost UK: Labour is likely to be hit hardest by changes to parliamentary boundaries, potentially losing 30 seats altogether.

Two hundreds Labour seats could be affected by plans to cut the number of Westminster constituencies, new analysis has found.

The boundary review will see the number of MPs in the Commons reduced from 650 to 600.

Analysis by election expert and Tory peer Lord Hayward indicated that Labour will “suffer most” as a result of the proposals – leading to claims of “gerrymandering” from the Opposition.

[Read full article on Huffpost UK…]