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Tough new immigration measures being brought in to prevent individuals gaining entry into UK with human rights abuse tag (30 April 2012)

Date: 30/04/2012
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, Tough new immigration measures being brought in to prevent individuals gaining entry into UK with human rights abuse tag

The new tough immigration laws to be announced by the government would ban non-EU citizens who have been accused of serious human rights abuses including torture or murder, from visiting UK.
The measures in the government's Human Rights Report, to be launched by the Foreign Office on Monday, will allow ministers to refuse entry where credible evidence exists of past or continuing human rights abuses.
But it does not bring in a complete ban on visas for human rights abusing foreign officials, with the ministers still having the powers to rule that individuals, including human rights abusing heads of state can visit the UK if it is driven by policy matters on human rights.
The change has been driven by Foreign Office ministers and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
At present, the UK does not have a list of those who are banned from visiting, as each case is considered on its merits. Officials have admitted that there have been times when they had wanted to deny entry people but have struggled because they were not allowed to simply on the basis of their human rights record. Only individuals who were viewed as threat to national security have been excluded in the current rules.
The new rule would read as: foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area may only come to the UK if they satisfy the requirements of the immigration rules. Where there is independent, reliable and credible evidence that an individual has committed human rights abuses, the individual will not normally be permitted to enter the UK.
After the controversial death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who worked for Hermitage Capital a British investment fund, in a pre trial detention center after deliberate abuse by officials the new rules have been in part drawn up.
The doctor involved, Larisa Litvinova, was cleared of culpability in Russia, officials have suggested that those involved, like Litvinova, could be excluded.
One official told the Observer: that it means that rich and powerful people around the world, including eastern Europe, parts of Asia and Africa, simply cannot find an open ticket to the UK if they were involved in torture, murder or illegal detention irrespective of whether it happened in the UK or not.

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