ECHR Rules European Countries Have Right To Revoke Citizenship of Persons Suspected of Terrorism
European countries have the right to revoke the citizenship of persons suspected of terrorism in order to prevent them from re-entering the country.
This is the ruling of the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) on a case initiated against Great Britain by a Sudanese person with dual citizenship. The decision was final and unanimous.
The man, identified simply by the initials K2, is suspected of terrorist activity in Somalia. In 2010, the government revoked his British citizenship and forbade him to return to the UK.
K2’s appeal claims that the decision is discriminatory and violates his right to personal and family life – a claim which the judges in Strasbourg rejected as groundless.
His other complaint is that he cannot appeal properly while being abroad since he is afraid that the Sudanese anti-terrorist services will track his communications and harm him. The court, however, ruled that European countries are not obliged to grant every citizen whose citizenship has been revoked the right to return in order to appeal.
The British Home Office applauded the decision. “Citizenship is a privilege not a right and it is proper for the Home Secretary to have the right to deprive people of it if this is in the public interest.”
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