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UK court allows accused Sudanese war criminal to remain in country

A UK immigration tribunal has ruled that man who says he was paid to kill civilians in Sudan [BBC Backgrounder; JURIST news archive] may remain in the UK indefinitely. The 27-year-old man, whose identity has not been revealed, is being allowed to remain in the UK for his own safety [Daily Mail report]. Immigration officials had originally rejected [Telegraph report] the man's request to stay in the UK due to a Geneva Convention provision that bars refugee status for war criminals. Immigration judge CJ Lloyd overruled this decision, saying the man may face torture and other human rights violations in Sudan. The man gave widely disseminated interviews to BBC and The Times in 2008 that talked about his experiences in Sudan. Although the man appeared in the interviews with a black cloth over his face, the judge felt that people in Sudan has been able to determine the man's identity and may retaliate against him if he returned to his home country.

In August the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] urged Sudan to initiate an investigation [JURIST report] into allegations of excessive force by government security forces against protesters in Darfur Tuesday resulting in eight deaths and more than 50 injuries. In early July Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch [advocacy websites] jointly urged [JURIST report] the Sudanese government to cease its practice of arbitrarily arresting, detaining and abusing protesters in the country. The rights groups estimated that the country detained more than 2,000 protesters in June alone. In June the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos [official profile] expressed concern [JURIST report] about deteriorating conditions in Sudan due to continued violent conflict resulting in an increase of Sudanese refugees fleeing into neighboring countries. During the same month, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] urged Sudanese authorities [JURIST report] to take measures to prevent violence against protesters in upcoming demonstrations. AI urged Sudanese authorities to cease violence against protesters and journalists [JURIST report] following reports that the country's police in Khartoum used tear gas and batons against civilians who protested over austerity cuts.

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