• Sunday, July 03, 2022

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British man returns to UK after being stranded in Bangladesh since 2017

(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

A British man, 40, who was born in London, returns to the UK this week after being stranded in Bangladesh since 2017, the Guardian reported.

The Home Office served a deprivation of citizenship order on him shortly after he flew to the country for the birth of his second daughter.

E3, as he is referred to in court documents, was working in the UK when he travelled to Bangladesh but not earning enough to sponsor his wife to join him and has since been stateless and destitute with his wife and three daughters.

According to the Home Office, he was “an Islamist extremist who had previously sought to travel abroad to participate in terrorism-related activity” and that he posed a threat to national security.

Although the UK government has reinstated his citizenship, his lawyers say they have received no explanation or any specific details to support the claims.

“The allegation against me is so vague that it even suggests that I only tried to travel to some unknown destination to take part in an unspecified activity related to terrorism,” the man was quoted as saying by the Observer.

“How on earth do you defend yourself against an allegation like that, especially when the government relies on secret evidence? The disclosure my solicitors received was almost entirely redacted so I have no idea what the government is referring to.

“Why was I not arrested and questioned? Why have I been punished in this way without ever being shown a single piece of evidence against me? The government should admit that they have made a mistake and own up to it.”

Fahad Ansari, his lawyer at Duncan Lewis, said: “My client lost five years of his life because of the unlawful decision of the home secretary that lacked any prior judicial oversight.”

Despite her father’s citizenship being reinstated, the Home Office is refusing to accept that the daughter is a British citizen.

It comes as politicians consider controversial plans contained in the contentious nationality and borders bill, which is going through the House of Lords, to allow the Home Office to remove someone’s citizenship without the need to inform them.

According to the report, the plans have prompted warnings that ethnic minorities could be treated differently from white Britons for committing the same crime.

E3 married in Bangladesh in 2013 and his first daughter was born a year later. Working in the UK and sending money to his wife in Bangladesh, he travelled to be with her on 19 April 2017 for the birth of his second daughter. His two older daughters have British citizenship.

On 3 June 2017, deprivation of citizenship notice was sent to his mother’s London address – the day before E3 was due to return home. The Home Office then called his mother and informed her that E3 would not be able to return to the UK.

His British citizenship was restored following a judgment that he had effectively been left stateless because he could not have Bangladeshi citizenship like his parents: he forfeited that right by not claiming it by the age of 21.

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