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The Case of Y


"Y" is an Algerian who, by court order, can only be named as "Y". He fled from Algeria in June 1996 and arrived in this country as a refugee in March 2000. He had been a member of the "Front Islamic du Salut" - a party which was banned and over thrown by the Algerian Military in 1992 even though it had won the elections.  It was replaced by the current regime. Many FIS supporters were killed, put in desert camps, or prisons. Some like "Y" were tortured. After he fled he was sentenced to death in his absence, at an Algerian trial in 1998 which he did not even know was taking place.

In 2001 he was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.  In January 2003 he was arrested and placed in Belmarsh prison, accused of being, with others, party to a terror plot. The supposed evidence for this plot came from the Algerian security services. After a trial in April 2005 the jury found him, and all defendants but one, not guilty and he was released. A few months later he was rearrested, accused of being a terror suspect, and threatened with deportation back to Algeria. He was taken to Long Lartin prison in September 2005, and after 4 months in prison, in January 2006, he was granted bail by the Special Immigration Appeal Commission (SIAC) under strict conditions.

It was then that I met him. In August 2006 his bail was revoked for unknown reasons and he was sent back to Long Lartin prison, where he stayed until July 2008. He was then allowed out under the same restrictions as before, electronically tagged, and placed in accommodation first on the outskirts of a Midlands town and then later was moved to north London.

All this time the Home Office have been, through SIAC, pressing for his deportation to Algeria. The case is now with the High Court for the third time. This process may take years before an appeal to the UK Supreme Court is possible. Only then, if the SIAC view is upheld by the Supreme Court, can an appeal be launched at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The case against him rests on secret evidence heard in closed sessions in SIAC. The Border Agency, in May 2012, said this evidence "cannot be publicly disclosed". It may have been supplied directly by the Algerian regime itself or by its security agency known as the DRS.

While on bail "Y" has complied with all restrictions on his movements and activities. He has followed courses of study in so far as the restrictions have made that possible. Since January 2003 he has been either in prison or out on a SIAC bail order. If this process goes on it may be years before any final decision is made. He has already served 11 years of detention and imprisonment.

I ask for any help you may be able to give, publicly or privately. It goes against every principle of our justice that a man can be detained, and his rights severely restricted for so long, on the basis of evidence that he and his lawyers cannot see and against which he cannot defend himself.

PLEASE get in touch with me if you would like clarification or more details, and take whatever action you can to bring this unjust situation to an end.