Gitmo detainee Hicks stripped of UK citizenship one day after request granted

[JURIST] Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive] was stripped of British citizenship just one day after he was secretly made a citizen in July, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Saturday. Hicks' court battle for British citizenship ended in May when the UK Court of Appeals said that it would not allow further appeals [JURIST report] from the British government in the case. A month earlier, the court ruled [text; JURIST report] that Hicks, whose mother is a British citizen, should be granted citizenship over the government's objections based on public policy concerns [JURIST report]. Hicks was informed on July 6 that his citizenship application had been approved, but a day later was told that UK Home Secretary John Reid [official profile] had revoked citizenship. A provision [text] of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, which took effect [JURIST report] in March, allows the Home Secretary to "deprive a person of a citizenship status if the Secretary of State is satisfied that deprivation is conducive to the public good."

Hicks' British lawyer said that he was not advised of the developments until after Reid had already taken action and said that Hicks had not been afforded the opportunity to seek legal advice after learning about the decisions to grant and revoke citizenship. Hicks' legal team plans to appeal to the Special Immigrations Appeals Commission [HMCS backgrounder] and petition British courts for judicial review. Hicks has been held at Guantanamo since late 2001, when he was captured in Afghanistan - where he allegedly fought for the Taliban - and turned over to US forces. Accused [charges, PDF] of conspiracy to commit war crimes, aiding the enemy and attempted murder, he was one of ten Guantanamo detainees facing trial by military commissions [JURIST news archive] before the US Supreme Court ruled that the commissions were illegal under military law and the Geneva Conventions as initially constituted. Hicks' fate is still uncertain, but the Australian Attorney General said last week that Australia would seek Hicks' release from Guantanamo [JURIST report] if new charges are not brought and a military tribunal formed by November. The Sydney Morning Herald has more.



 

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