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Home Office in the media

Home Office in the media: 31 August 2018

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 Home Office in the media

Today’s Home Office related stories include the fate of two Daesh fighters and the deaths of three individuals who were deported from the UK during the Windrush scandal.

US reports on future of Daesh fighters

The Times, Telegraph and Mail are among those which report on the fate of the two Daesh fighters Alexanda Kotey and Shafee El-Sheikh. According to US broadcaster NBC President Trump's administration is considering sending the two fighters to Guantanamo Bay rather than having them face the death penalty.

Five unnamed US officials told the broadcaster that the pair could be sent to the detention centre where they could be held for years without trial.

The Mail says the development questions the UK’s willingness to extradite the two fighters who are currently being held by Kurdish forces in northern Syria. Last month the Home Secretary ordered the pause in cooperation with the US over their possible extradition.

According to the Telegraph, a Home Office source said the UK would encourage the US not to send the men to the facility. It also reports that the UK Government decided to waive the usual death penalty assurance when it agreed to hand over intelligence (mutual legal assistance) to help prosecute the men in the US.

Both men were allegedly part of the terror cell dubbed 'The Beatles' who beheaded US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

As the Security Minister has said in the House, our position on Guantanamo Bay has not changed and our long-standing position is that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay should close.

Mutual Legal Assistance requests are made for the express purpose of progressing a criminal prosecution or investigation. In this case we made it completely clear to the United States that the UK's consent would have to be obtained before evidence - provided in response to the request - could be used for any other purpose. It is absurd and untrue to suggest otherwise.

Windrush deaths

The Guardian, Times, Mail and Independent are among those that report on the deaths of at least three members of the Windrush generation who were wrongly deported to the Caribbean. The papers report they were among 18 people to whom the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, said last week that he would offer a formal apology. The papers say that according to the Jamaican Foreign Ministry the three individuals passed away before UK officials could contact them to help them to return to the UK. British officials have now asked for help in contacting the relatives of the three people believed to have died.

The Guardian reports that 13 of the 18 people which the Home Secretary has offered an apology to were Jamaican, of whom eight have been traced. The Home Office is seeking help from the Jamaican Government in finding the last two thought to be alive.

The paper also carries comments from Kamina Johnson-Smith the Jamaican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, who said the Government’s response to the situation has “certainly improved”.

A Home Office spokesperson said:.

The experiences faced by some members of the Windrush generation are inexcusable. The Home Secretary and the Immigration Minister have said that it is their priority to right the wrongs that have occurred.

Our historical reviews into removals and detentions have identified 18 people who it is believed could have been wrongfully removed or detained. Three of the 18 people have been confirmed as having died. The Home Secretary will be writing to the families of the deceased as well as the other 15 people identified to offer a personal apology. We are working closely with Caribbean High Commissioners and Governments to do this.


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