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Cheers - AE

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Mohammed Asha

So let's get this straight. This guy goes to Britain where he intends to work for the NHS as a neurosurgeon and, due to knowing a couple of people whose minds he was unable to read and who turned out to be a couple of religious nutcases, Asha is arrested, locked up, charged with funding terrorism because he lent them a few bob for (as far as he knew) rent, and finally tried. Now up to this point I kept an open mind and haven't got huge issues with what happened to Dr Asha. Maybe the evidence was a bit iffy, maybe there was enough to justify a trial... dunno to be honest as I was rather busy and didn't follow things as closely as I might have. But we all know what happened next - the jury cleared him of all charges and the judge had a pop at the police for one or two minor, trivial procedural matters (you know, things like grilling the poor bloke without his solicitor being there, nothing important), and he leaves court a free man. Well, actually a not-remotely-free man because the Home Office decided to deport Asha and to lock him up again while they fucked around with the paperwork.

Now I may have got facts slightly wrong here but my impression is that the Home Office had a kind of technically sound case for deportation. As someone living in a foreign country I'm aware that I must meet certain conditions and might be deported back to the north Atlantic shithole where I was born if I don't meet them. But let's be blunt about Dr Asha's situation - he wasn't able to meet his visa conditions because he was locked up in fucking Belmarsh. A just society would look at the root cause of why the visa conditions weren't met and act accordingly, say renew the visa and give the guy at least the same amount of time he spent behind bars to find another position in his field. Nobody can give him back the lost time, and since he apparently did know the terrorists who attacked Glasgow airport and had lent them money it could be argued that his arrest, imprisonment and trial was largely very, very bad luck. But having been cleared the slate should be wiped clean and Dr Asha allowed to get on with his life.

I'm glad to see that this now looks like it's going to happen.
A hearing of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission decided he was not a threat to national security and released him on bail after hearing secret information behind closed doors.
The panel decided that he did not need to be electronically tagged and ordered only that he should report to a police station in Birmingham once a week and that an unspecified sureity should be paid.
Mr Justice Mitting said: "I do not impose any of the conditions customary. We express the view that it is not in the public interest that Dr Asha should be prevented by immigration considerations from resuming work in the National Health Service."
I still find it distasteful that he's still being treated as a criminal by having to pay bail and report to a local police station each week, but as the article says he's not being tagged and isn't considered a threat. And obviously it's a hell of a lot better than being stuck in a detention centre - a prison in all but name. But the thing is, if he isn't a threat then why bail? Why weekly appearances at the cop shop? As far as I can see it's solely because of the Home Office's determination to kick the guy out.
Rupert Jones, for the Home Office, said Dr Asha was a threat to national security and there was a substantial risk he would abscond if bailed.
Wakey wakey. A court has cleared him and an immigration tribunal says he's no threat. If you've got evidence to say otherwise would it not have been a good idea to bring it up at his trial? Or charge him with something else? Failing that we're left with the conclusion that there's more or less fuck all and you're flushing the principle of presumed innocence down the fucking bog along with all the other freedoms that you government cunts find so fucking inconvenient to live with.

Oh, and just to show that the UK is not alone in having some world class shits have a look at the story of Australia's Dr Asha, a guy by the name of Dr Mohamed Haneef. If anything it's worse than what happened to Dr Asha. Funnily enough Dr Haneef seems less than keen on coming back to Oz to practise medicine. Can't imagine why. Actually to be serious I can't imagine why Dr Asha still wants to work in the UK after his treatment there, though if the Home Orifice is anything to go by there's no fucking shortage of brains that badly need fixing.
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