The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] ruled [decision; press release] Thursday against a Sudanese man who was challenging the deprivation of his UK citizenship. The man was born in Sudan and had become a naturalized citizen of the UK in 2000. Beginning between 2009-2010, he is suspected to have made affiliations with Al-Shabaab and to have engaged in “terror related activities” after he traveled to Somalia from the UK with the aid of known extremists. The deprivation of his citizenship in 2010 has barred the man, known as K2, from reentering the UK. K2 challenged the deprivation under the European Convention on Human Rights [text, PDF] Article 8, right to private and family life, and Article 14, prohibition of discrimination. The ECHR decided that while an arbitrary denial of citizenship may raise a claim under Article 8, this was not the case. K2’s denial of citizenship was found to be “in accordance with the law,” and diligent in its efforts. The ECHR also found that K2 had been allotted sufficient procedural safeguards to bring his case, although he was barred from entering the UK during its lifetime. As to K2’s claim of discrimination, on the grounds that he treated differently from other similarly situated cases because of his dual citizenship, the ECHR found that K2 needed to bring this argument in domestic court and failed to do so.
The determination of citizenship has been an issue faced in nations around the globe. In February Amnesty International urged the Israeli Supreme Court to repeal a 2003 law that bans [JURIST report] many Palestinians from entering the country, including those who are seeking reunification with their families. The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law was originally enacted as a temporary one-year order but has been renewed annually. Last November the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that determined [JURIST report] the constitutionality of citizenship statutes that set different requirements based on whether a child was born to unmarried parents with a US-citizen mother or a US-citizen father. Also in 2016 French Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, resigned [JURIST report] after expressing disagreement with the President Francois Hollande’s proposal to strip convicted terrorists of their French citizenship.