E2 is an Afghan born man in his late 30’s who got his British citizenship granted in 2009 and then deprived it only three years later while visiting family in Pakistan.
E2 was born in Afghanistan and came to the UK as an asylum seeker in 1999 after fleeing the Taliban. He got granted British citizenship in 2009. E2 lived in South-East London and worked in a mobile shop in the same area, supporting his wife and three children who lived in Pakistan. In January 2012, he traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to visit his family. Meanwhile in the UK the Home Secretary sent a letter to his UK address depriving him of his citizenship. Not knowing of the deprivation order, E2 made his way back to London a few months later in May 2012 but got stopped at Dubai airport. A British Embassy official took his passport off him and E2 was unable to fly back home. He spent 18 hours in an airport cell and then was made to board a plane back to Kabul.
‘That was my identity but now I am nobody’ – E2
One of the key issues in E2’s case is that he was not in the UK when served with a notice of citizenship deprivation by the Home Secretary. This is a common practice across the citizenship deprivation cases. In E2’s case the deprivation notice was sent to his London address in April 2012, stating he had 28 days to appeal yet without any attempts to reach him in Pakistan to inform him of his deprivation. Consequently, E2 missed the appeal window and when he eventually gave notice of appeal it was judged too late and refused by the Special Immigrations Appeals Commission (SIAC).
Evidence against E2 upon which his deprivation was based remains secret, but similarly to other deprivation cases his exclusion from the UK is motivated with the claim that it is ‘conducive to the public good’. He was accused of being involved with ‘Islamist extremism’ but denies even participating in extremist activity. While he is not sure what has motivated the deprivation he has mentioned two key events that he suspects might have led to him being investigated. He has said, in an interview with the The Bureau of Investigative Journalism he said that back in 2008 he was involved in negotiations to free a kidnapped Afghan national, Zia ul-Haq Ahadi who was a relative of a politicians in Afghanistan. E2 claims to have been the person who drove a negotiator to the kidnappers and has since come to the attention of British security services. The second reason was his association to an imam he met at a mosque in Waziristan who used to call him to his London mobile shop and E2 believes the calls put him in trouble.
E2 is currently in Pakistan, unable to find work to support his family and reportedly facing threat from the Taliban. He said that because of what has happened E2 and his family have become targets that can ‘be executed easily‘. Of his lost British citizenship he said that it was ‘everything‘ to him:
“When somebody’s citizenship is revoked if he is criminal he should be put in jail, otherwise he should be free and should have his passport returned” – M2 in interview with The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
SIAC (2012) ‘E2’ and Secretary of State for the Home Department, Open Judgement, SC/117/2012 SIAC. E2_OOT_Judgment
SIAC (2012) ‘E2’ and Secretary of State for the Home Department, Ruling on Application for Permission to Appeal, SC/117/2012 E2-Ruling-on-Application-for-Permission-to-Appeal-27Feb14
The Independent: Stranded in Pakistan – after Theresa May revoked his passport (16 March 2014)
Open Democracy: British citizen, British justice? (17 March 2014)