Clapham chemical assault: Immigration row over refugee granted asylum regardless of intercourse crimes | EUROtoday

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A row has damaged out over the immigration standing of a refugee being hunted over a chemical assault who was granted asylum within the UK regardless of being convicted of sexual offences years earlier than.

Abdul Ezedi, 35, who’s on the run after an assault in Clapham, south London, on Wednesday, pleaded responsible to sexual assault and publicity in 2018 however was nonetheless granted asylum in Britain in 2021 or 2022.

As police made a direct enchantment to Ezedi at hand himself in after a second day on the run, Home Office sources mentioned officers had been demanding solutions over why the suspect was granted asylum by the courts regardless of being denied the correct to remain twice earlier than.

It was reported that Ezedi, who is alleged to have travelled to the UK on a lorry from Afghanistan in 2016, was allowed to remain within the UK after a priest confirmed he had transformed to Christianity.

Abdul Ezedi, 35, is on the run after an assault in Clapham, south London

(Metropolitan Police/AFP through Gett)

The Home Office got here underneath stress to elucidate why Ezedi, the one suspect within the assault which left a mom with life-changing accidents and injured her two daughters, was nonetheless within the nation after the intercourse offences – with MPs calling for an overhaul of the asylum system.

Questions have additionally been raised about whether or not the justice system is taking violence towards ladies severely sufficient after Ezedi was given a suspended sentence for his crimes – which means he averted a jail time period of lower than a 12 months, the purpose at which felony are routinely eligible for deportation.

As the row developed:

  • Rishi Sunak weighed in on the controversy, saying he doesn’t assume “foreign criminals should be able to stay” within the UK
  • Leading Tory average and ex-justice secretary Robert Buckland instructed The Independent there must be a evaluate into this “deeply worrying case”
  • Right-wing Tory MPs had been fast to level to the incident as proof of the necessity to reform the asylum system
  • One Labour MP mentioned a very powerful issue within the case was violence towards ladies and women and the way it may be prevented
  • Amnesty International warned the assault “should not be used as a pretext to target people seeking asylum”
  • Police mentioned “significant and important pieces of evidence” had been recovered in searches in east London and Newcastle on Thursday night time

Police examine the scene of the incident, which left 12 individuals injured

(PA Wire)

Former immigration minister Robert Jenrick mentioned the asylum system was “dangerously broken” – even if he was answerable for it on the Home Office till resigning in protest over the “weak” Rwanda plan in December.

The right-wing Tory hardliner known as for the house secretary to evaluate Ezedi’s asylum case and have a look at “what may have gone seriously wrong”.

Mr Jenrick claimed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’m afraid we do see, regularly, cases of people making spurious claims of converting to Christmas, aided and abetted by often well-meaning but naive vicars and priests.”

No 10 refused to verify there was evaluate underneath approach into how Ezedi, who has important accidents following the incident, was granted asylum after his conviction for a sexual offence.

But Mr Sunak’s officers added: “Speaking more broadly about the system, clearly the prime minister doesn’t think foreign criminals should be able to stay in the country, putting the public at risk.”

Police have appealed to the suspect at hand himself in


Ezedi, from the Newcastle space, averted jail when he pleaded responsible to fees of sexual assault and publicity, as an alternative being handed a suspended sentence at Newcastle Crown Court on January 9 2018, the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed.

He is then understood to have challenged the Home Office’s determination to refuse him asylum by efficiently lodging an enchantment with the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). The physique is unbiased of the Home Office and may overturn authorities choices.

Deportation orders can be made for some criminals, relying on the severity of their crimes. If somebody has acquired a custodial sentence for a severe drug offence or gun crime or if they’ve been sentenced to jail time of 12 months or extra, then they are often issued with a deportation order.

But there aren’t any computerized guidelines for anybody given a suspended sentence or for criminals who commit sexual offences.

Right-wing Tory MPs Miriam Cates and Danny Kruger, co-chairs of the New Conservatives group, mentioned an overhaul was wanted. They demanded Mr Sunak makes positive that “anyone who arrives in the UK illegally and is subsequently convicted of a criminal offence should not be allowed to claim asylum”.

Rishi Sunak mentioned he doesn’t assume ‘foreign criminals should be able to stay’ within the UK


Ex-home secretary Suella Braverman additionally seized upon the Clapham assault – arguing that the case of suspected attacker confirmed why Britain ought to depart the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

“Spurious claims based on religion are commonplace in our asylum system. The bar is low, it’s easy to game the system and it happens,” she mentioned on X, previously Twitter.

Jacqueline McKenzie, companion and head of immigration and asylum regulation at regulation agency Leigh Day, mentioned somebody’s felony previous could be related however that if they’re believed to not pose an ongoing menace to safety they is likely to be granted asylum.

She instructed BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It seems clear – and we don’t know enough, but it seems clear – that whoever made the decision to grant this man asylum felt that he didn’t pose an ongoing threat to security.”

It isn’t but recognized which Christian denomination the one that reportedly assisted Ezedi was from. The Church of England mentioned it was not at present conscious of any hyperlinks to its church buildings.

The incident occurred on Lessar Avenue, Clapham


A spokesperson mentioned: “It is the role of the Home Office, and not the Church, to vet asylum seekers and judge the merits of their individual cases.”

According to Church of England steering, clergy can “act as their support, and help with things they cannot do” if somebody’s asylum declare is refused. Conversion to Christianity after a earlier refusal could be the idea of a recent declare, the steering mentioned.

Ms McKenzie mentioned she has handled instances the place individuals have been “absolutely genuine” about their conversion to Christianity.

She additionally mentioned the timing of Ezedi’s declare “is pretty important”, as a result of Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021.

She mentioned: “We know the Taliban came to power, we know that they’re very serious about their blasphemy laws, and that the death penalty is applicable for people who convert from Islam to Christianity or other religions.

“And this man, if he was able to convince the secretary of state that his conversion was genuine, would have been offered protection because he would possibly face persecution back in Afghanistan under the Taliban.”

Labour’s Darren Jones, the shadow chief Treasury secretary, refused to touch upon the manhunt for Ezedi. But he mentioned on Sky News that the Tory authorities was “failing to return people who have failed to be granted asylum in this country.”

But Bell Ribeiro-Addy, the left-wing Labour MP for Streatham, mentioned she was “concerned” concerning the route of the political debate over Ezedi’s case shifting to the asylum system.

Asked concerning the asylum system in relation to the case, she instructed the BBC: “I’m saying that the most important factor is violence against women and girls. The reasons as to why he was given asylum, we don’t know, but we do know that there may have been serious issues in terms of how the criminal justice system processed the particular issue of his particular sex offence.”

She added: “Because that is something that’s carried out by all people, whether they subscribe to particular faiths, whether they are of particular ethnicity, whether they were born in this country or not it’s something that’s right across our society.”

Dr Charlotte Proudman, a outstanding ladies’s rights barrister who specialises in violence towards ladies, mentioned the Clapham chemical assault exposes the very fact violence towards ladies and women isn’t taken severely and the lenient sentences that are handed to harmful perpetrators.

She instructed The Independent: “It shows a real impunity. If perpetrators are violating women and abusing them, they will carry on doing it. There is no deterrent. It is basically like the criminal justice system does not really care about the lives of women.”

UK’s Chief Executive of Amnesty International, Sacha Deshmukh added that the attack “should not be used as a pretext to target people seeking asylum”.

Mr Deshmukh mentioned that ministers had “already severely damaged the UK’s asylum system, but that the government “urgently needs to ensure that the claims of anyone seeking asylum in the UK are decided fairly and efficiently”.

“There will always be a place for reflection on whether our policing, mental health and other services can better safeguard us all, but launching cynical and ill-informed attacks on the asylum system won’t help safeguard anybody,” he mentioned.