Abdul Baset Azzouz

Written by CP Editor Thursday, 08 October 2009
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Abdul Baset Azzouz sought asylum in Britain from Libya. His children are British citizens and he was granted residency. He lived a regular life thereafter, safe in the knowledge that with Libya’s post-Lockerbie reputation as a marginalised pariah state, he would not have to return to risk his life.

His aspirations of living with his family in safety were short-lived. On 24 May 2006 his house was subjected to a dawn raid by police.
His family was caught completely by surprise. His sons rushed to pick up chairs to defend themselves from those they perceived as burglars.
After being dealt repeated blows to the head, he was told that he was being arrested for immigration reasons due to national security.
From the local police station he was taken to Manchester Prison, where despite the lack of charges against him, he was held as a ‘Category A’ prisoner.
Legal help was of little use; Azzouz’s barrister was so appalled at the scarcity of evidence in the government’s dossier against his client that he was tempted to throw it in the bin.
After nine months of detention without charge, Azzouz was granted bail on health grounds. He suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, depression and injured ligaments in his leg. Azzouz’s GP testified during his SIAC proceedings that he needed to be near a hospital.
Bail Order
Bail order proved to be little different from prison, except that Azzouz’s suffering was now extended to the rest of his family.
Unable to travel, he is legally obliged to stay within a small radius around their home.
Azzouz is even required to obtain permission through his solicitor to have blood tests taken at the local hospital despite it being half a mile from his home.
He is restricted from regularly joining his mosque congregation and unable to mingle with the community.
The measures taken against Azzouz have clearly resulted in severe social exclusion or in his words, “Excommunicated me and my family from the entire community.
“SIAC plays games with Muslims. They are using secret evidence – they have made this law just for Muslims. They said that we have contact with terrorists such as the Libyan Fighting Group who are supposed to have Al Qaeda ideology. When I asked where the evidence for this is, all I was told was that it was secret.”
Last modified on Tuesday, 14 December 2010 17:22
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