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“Deport first, appeal later” claims its first known casualty


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May Bulman has reported in The Independent the death of an Afghan citizen deported from the UK pending his appeal. He was shot dead in his home town and his wife saw his dead body in an image on Facebook. He had lived in the UK for 16 years and had four British children. The report is vague on the reasons for deportation, mentioning “a number of minor offences” and an eight week sentence for a violent offence. The normal threshold for automatic deportation is a 12 month sentence, being a persistent offender or causing serious harm.

His appeal against the deportation was listed for 28 September 2018 and his solicitor, Nasir Ata of Duncan Lewis, said that there was a good chance of winning. On the facts as reported, I would agree. Over half of all appeals are succeeding, apart from anything else.

Zainadin Fazlie is the first known casualty of the “deport first, appeal later” regime introduced by Theresa May in the Immigration Act 2014. His wife and his four children are clearly also the victims.

The idea of the “”deport first, appeal later” policy is that the person can return to the UK if they win their appeal. Tragically that clearly isn’t going to happen now in this case. The Supreme Court held that automatic application of the policy was unlawful. The Home Office should immediately suspend such premature removals to dangerous countries and bring back any appellants still waiting for appeals.

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Colin Yeo

Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.