Thursday, February 01, 2007

On Foreign Prisoners...Reid is failing

Between 1999-2006, some 1,023 foreign prisoners, including killers, rapists and child abusers, were released from UK prisons when they should have been considered for deportation. The government and police are still trying to locate many of them.
On 17th May 2006, Blair said: “For years, we have not been deporting all those people convicted of a serious criminal offense. I say now, ‘Let us deport all those people’.” In strict legal terms, Blair cannot change the law to deport “automatically” all foreign criminals the moment they have served their sentences. At the time, David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, correctly described Mr Blair’s comments as “disingenuous” and questioned whether ministers would remove former prisoners if they faced torture or execution on their return.
As of early January 2007, 38 violent foreign prisoners were still on the run. It seems that John Reid has failed to get a grip on the fiasco. The Home Office can’t even deport prisoners who wish to be deported! Gurdev Singh Sheri, a convicted rapist remains today in a Welsh prison three years after the completion of his sentence, and actively wishes to be deported to his native India. The Home Office does nothing to assist him in that request.
Frankly, I care very little about the rights of foreign prisoners. The vast bulk of them should be deported whatever the dangers in their home nations. If the government wants to take public safety into account, the 1998 Human Rights Act, should be abolished as a first step. The government actually claims to be looking again at the Human Rights Act in light of recent cases which have seen moves to deport foreign nationals blocked because of the legislation.
The truth is, Labour got us into this mess. So it's hard to see how they can get us out of it. Last year, David Cameron said the "interaction of the Human Rights Act and the participation in the European Convention of Human Rights made it impossible to expel them from the country”. Cameron vowed to bin the act and replace it with a bill of rights which enshrined the nation's set of values and freedom rights. We should hold him to that promise….Interestingly, while Reid and the Home Office are still failing over the deportation of foreign prisoners, they have become unnecessarily aggressive on the deportation of legitimate asylum seekers. An easy way to spike up official stats on deportation numbers, perhaps. Go figure.....


Serf said...

As someone who lives in a country where torture is a regular practice (though decreasing)you will be better able than most to understand the line of this argument.

In a country like Turkey, torture is not a random occurrence but rather a political tool (and a function of an unsophisticated police force).

Therefore the argument that someone might be tortured if deported to Turkey, only holds weight, if they are on the radar of the authorities. (ie for most Turkish people, torture is individually irrelevant.

They might be tortured for two reasons.
1) Legitimate political activity
2) Support for violent revolutionary or terror groups.

Asylum should be available to those in group 1, but not those in group 2 (irrespective of a belief that torture is wrong).

Those convicted of serious crimes in the UK should also be sent home irrespective.

Currently we have a system where terrorist supporters are rewarded with asylum, and economic migrants claim asylum based on non existent political problems.

Moreover, in the specific case of Turkey, I personally know people who have been tortured for youthful political activities, who are now pillars of the community whom the police wouldn't dare touch. So even someone previously in the cross hairs can live unmolested.

I am sure that in all but the worst cases (Zimbabwe, N Korea, Turkmenistan, S Arabia) there is a very similar picture.

Yet we have a system that assumes the very worst of all imperfect regimes, and therefore acts as a perverse incentive for people to back undemocratic political movements, by giving them an opt out.

Our system should be one that combines reasonable standards of humanity, with a priority on those already resident, whilst firmly upholding the rule of law and democracy. The existing system fails in all respects.

Peter Hitchens' Schlong said...

Ship them out!

Ellee said...

We had a local case today where an illegal asylum seeker was convicted of raping a woman, the local MP said someone's head should be on the block. But how many times can you run the same story? The big story is Blair, isn't that just amazing?

CityUnslicker said...

IT - good post, fully in agreement here.

Serf- I had not throught through the rational in this way. This is an excellent way of looking at the issue. If only the CPS possessed people with your intelligence.

Newmania said...

That’s the best post I`ve seen of yours IT and has a useful summary of the situation which I will keep. I must say I grown increasingly curious as to your identity , you are remarkably well informed and appear to know a lot about Conservative Politics going back a long way.

Were you the painted Houris of a cabinet Minister ? A eunuch in the secret Major Harem ? I dare not gues
On the domestic Bill of rights my understanding was that it would not automatically get us out of the EU Human rights Act and would be in parallel to it . It was a much derided idea at the time certainly as only adding to the confusion. I `m not sure then , that such a measure would necessarily help. Better off outers and NuLabs scoffed anyway.

istanbultory said...

Alas, I shall remain incognito as long as I am in these parts. My profession demands impartiality and I'd better not out myself. Did John Major really have a eunach installed in Downing ST? Good Lord...
As for the Human Rights Act, it locks the European Convention of Human Rights into British law. And that's my principal objection to it. I think Cameron was trying to point out the need for a Bill of Rights specifically designed to fit British needs and traditions.
The European Court of Human Rights grants countries with their own written constitutions or bills of rights (eg Germany) a bit of leeway on how the European Convention on Human Rights is implemented.. In addition, Britain could, like France, seek certain "reservations" on the Convention.
Some cynics might say that David Cameron knows that ultimately Strasbourg has the final say so that he can say "we tried but Europe keeps holding us back"."Tough on Europe. Tough on the causes of Europe" I guess.

Newmania said...

The European Court of Human Rights grants countries with their own written constitutions or bills of rights (eg Germany) a bit of leeway on how the European Convention on Human Rights is implemented..

That was why David Cameron said he wanted it so as to get us similar leeway. It made sense to me at the time and although there was a lot of bad press I`m not sure I quite see why

My profession demands impartiality and objectivity....

Well the intrigue just grew another notch . Who is IT ?

They seek him here they seek him there
Does he sell ladies underwear ?
Is he a spy or gigalo
We ask and yet ,we do not know
A judge or Lawyer surely not
He seems to know an awful lot
And that sort very seldom do
I`d love to know
Well wouldn’t you ?
An international thief of note
The person in the overcoat
Who seems to look a little long
As you briskly hurry on
We`ll never know the truth for he
Remains just Istanbul - toree


istanbultory said...

Mr N,
Sir, I thank you for your poetic flourish. Alas, none of those professions apply...In any case, blessings as His Grace would say....All shall be explained within the sacred confines of the Venus Table Dancing establishment when next I proceed to Blighty.

Ellee said...

Venus Table Dancing, the mind bloggles, and I'm sure it's not belly dancing you have in mind!

Praguetory said...

Agree. Excellent post and comments. My only comment is that the buck for this scale of failure doesn't stop at the latest mug who is Home Secretary. This is at the heart of the purpose of the state and it's the leader who should take responsibility for this shambles.