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After 5 years in custody, illegal immigrant seeks freedom

He was kept in detention, as officials could not establish country of his origin


5th August 2011:
In custody for more than five years, just because the Home Office doesn’t know where to send him, an illegal immigrant has decided to fight it out in the court of law.
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He has, in fact, moved the High Court for freedom, claiming his “human right to liberty” has been violated by his detention by the Home Office.

Mounir Raki was kept in detention even after serving a jail sentence in a theft case, as officials could not find the relevant records regarding the country of his origin.

Raki initially claimed he was Moroccan. After a gap of about three months, Raki said he was Palestinian. Despite extensive inquiries with both countries, the place of his origin could not be established.

The High Court was told that Raki, now in his 30s, had found his way into Britain illegally some nine years ago. In July 2006, he claimed asylum in July 2006 after he was arrested for theft.

The court was told Raki is feeling depressed and has committed several acts of self-harm, while he has been in custody.

Raki’s barrister Alex Goodman asserted the migrant was desperate to be deported. Quoting a psychiatrist, Goodman said the long- term incarceration was having an “adverse effect” on his mental health.

Last year Raki said send him home or release him as mentally and physically, he was finished.

Goodman claimed there is no realistic prospect of Raki’s nationality being proved or him being deported within a reasonable period of time.

On the other hand, the lawyers for Home Secretary Theresa May argued Raki had deliberately frustrated efforts to deport him by changing the story about his nationality.

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