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UK immigration court allows deportation of terrorism suspect to Algeria

[JURIST] The UK Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) [official website] ruled Thursday to uphold the deportation order of an Algerian citizen known to the court as "Y," finding that Algeria has improved their human rights record so that the deportee's human rights would not be put in jeopardy, and that "Y" is a danger to national security and should be deported. The SIAC, which can take secret evidence in closed session, hears appeals of deportation orders [backgrounder] when the decision to remove someone from the UK involves national security or other sensitive information. Its latest ruling is seen as a victory for the British government, which last August unveiled a new deportation strategy [JURIST report] in the wake of the July 2005 London transit bombings [JURIST report]. Algeria and the UK reportedly negotiated [HRW backgrounder] a safe return agreement - a so-called Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) [Amnesty International backgrounder] - earlier this year, which assures the UK that Algeria will not torture or otherwise harm the deportee upon return.

Amnesty International has already condemned Thursday's ruling [press release] and criticized the SIAC for denying "Y" due process of law by preventing "Y" from presenting the court with evidence to refute the government's case that "Y" is a national security risk. The Home Office said that "Y" could not present evidence during the SIAC appeal because the SIAC hears questions of law, while questions of fact are left to the lower immigration commission. "Y" was acquitted by a UK court last year for an alleged terrorist plot to manufacture and distribute the poison ricin [BBC backgrounder], while one suspect was convicted [JURIST report] in the case. Reuters has more.

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