Man who won legal fight to stop his UK citizenship being revoked subject to ‘campaign of harassment’
Written by Hitmix News on 1 May 2021
A British mother is calling for her son to be allowed to return home after he won a legal case to prevent the Home Office stripping him of citizenship.
Known in court proceedings as “N3”, the 37-year-old man from London had been locked in a legal battle for more than three years as the Home Office appealed a decision to reinstate his citizenship.
“It has now been three years since I last saw him,” his mother told Sky News.
“I am an elderly lady living on my own and I am in poor health. I have missed his love, warmth and companionship.”
Image: The Home Office says it does not ‘routinely comment on individual cases’
In 2017, the Home Office had written to N3 saying it had stripped him of citizenship. He was in Turkey at the time and says he was involved in aid work related to the Syrian war. His lawyers argued that Britain had made him stateless.
A year later, N3, whose parents are Bangladeshi, won an appeal to have his British citizenship reinstated.
Bangladeshi laws stipulate that N3 would not have been eligible for citizenship there because he had not made any steps to apply before he was 21.
N3 travelled to France in an attempt to get home to Britain – but because the Home Office had appealed the decision, he was refused entry.
Picked up by French authorities and unable to be deported from there, he was detained in France and treated as a stateless person until the citizenship deprivation order was withdrawn on 20 April.
A letter from the Government Legal Department stated that the home secretary had withdrawn the deprivation order and that his citizenship had been reinstated.
On Wednesday, N3 was handed over to British police and is now being detained by London’s Metropolitan Police under the Terrorism Act 2000.
His solicitor Fahad Ansari says his client has been “systematically targeted” by the Home Office for more than three years, and that throughout the litigation N3 was never shown the evidence against him.
“This sustained campaign of harassment has deprived his children of their father for too long now and must come to an end,” Mr Ansari said.
Like many of those who had travelled to Syria, suspected of having links to terrorist organisations and told they are no longer British citizens, N3 was given what rights groups says is a “template reason”: that he was “aligned to a group that is aligned with al Qaeda”. They say this convoluted approach is shrouded behind secret evidence that cannot be seen, let alone challenged.
N3’s mother, who is being supported by the advocacy group Cage, says life without her son has been particularly hard during the pandemic.
“With my health ailing, I desperately need his support during these challenging times,” she added.
N3, who is yet to be charged, denies allegations of wrongdoing. His lawyers say he is assisting police with their enquiries.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “We do not routinely comment on individual cases.”