Study reveals hundreds of British citizens have been stripped of their nationality in recent years
According to a recent report released by Free Movement, a website run by lawyers to provide information to those affected by immigration control, a total of 464 people have had their British citizenship revoked in the past 15 years. This peaked in 2017, with a total of 148 people having their British nationality removed in that year. In contrast, the period from 2006 to 2010 had seen only 9 similar cases.
CJ McKinney, the website’s editor and author of the article tweeted about the issue:
Advocacy group CAGE recently organised an open letter signed by 10 of those who have been stripped of their British citizenship. They say the law allows ‘Government to be judge, jury and executioner’.
Signatories to the letter describe how: “The government has deprived every one of us of our citizenship on the basis that we are technically dual nationals on account of our parental heritage, cementing a two tier citizenship for people like us. We have no identity or travel documents, no consular assistance and do not enjoy the support or protection of any country in the world. We are essentially stateless.”
None of them has been charged with any crime and they highlight that ‘the most difficult part of this process is not knowing what we are accused of or being shown the evidence against us.’
The letter calls for the ‘full roll-back of the racist and wholly unaccountable deprivation regime under which hundreds of British citizens have already lost their citizenship.’
The ten signatories include Deniz Solak, who was stripped of his British citizenship in 2015 before being acquitted of involvement in terrorist activity two years later in a Turkish court and a man known only as E3 who recently had his British citizenship reinstated after having been deprived of it since June 2017, when he travelled to Bangladesh for the birth of his daughter. The man was born in the UK and had been working in the UKat the time of this trip. According to the Home Office’s deprivation order, the Briton was 'an Islamist extremist who had previously sought to travel abroad to participate in terrorism-related activity'.
He has never been charged with any offence and says that he and his solicitors said that they had not been given any details of any such offence. The UK government recently reinstated his citizenship when he told the Guardian: “Being British is a fundamental part of my identity, but it really feels like you need more than just being born and raised in the UK to really be considered one. Having an ethnic background relegates you to being a second-class citizen.”
The issue has been in the news recently, as a result of the government’s proposed changes to the nationality and borders bill, which means that the government would be able to strip British citizens of their citizenship without notice. Islam Channel previously reported on this issue. It also formed the topic for debate in a recent episode of Islam Channel’s weekly current affairs show, News Talk, where host, Aaqil Ahmed was joined by Tasnime Akunjee, lawyer for Shamima Begum, whose case is the highest profile example of this disturbing practice; Maya Foa director of Reprieve, a legal charity working against human rights abuses and Ella Whelan, journalist, author and political commentator to discuss the issue. Watch the episode here.