Asylum Seeker Wins Damages

Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian (London), Nov. 17

An Egyptian asylum seeker was awarded substantial damages yesterday after the high court ruled he had been unlawfully detained in a dispute involving Tony Blair.

Hany Youssef claimed he was falsely imprisoned in 1999 in a long-running case in which the prime minister questioned why he could not be deported to Egypt.

The Guardian revealed yesterday how Mr Blair intervened in the case in an attempt to deport Mr Youssef, despite being told by the then home secretary, Jack Straw, and Foreign Office officials that the man was at risk of being tortured.

Mr Youssef’s lawyer, Irene Nembhard, of Birnberg Peirce, said: “Most worrying was that the evidence suggested that the prime minister was determined to see Mr Youssef returned to Egypt without displaying an equal concern to ensure that if returned, he would be protected from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment”.

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