Anne Port asylum seeker says ISIS want to kill him
A SYRIAN asylum seeker who arrived in Jersey on a dinghy has launched a legal fight to block his deportation – claiming his life is in danger as he is being tracked by ISIS terrorists.
In what is believed to be the first case of its kind in Jersey, the man says he has been living in fear in a European country which cannot be identified and is appealing to remain in Jersey on human rights grounds.
An interim injunction blocking his deportation was granted last month and yesterday the Royal Court began hearing a judicial review into his case.
The man, whose identity is protected by a court order, arrived at Anne Port last month on an inflatable dinghy.
He handed himself in at the States police headquarters and told officers he was seeking asylum in the Island.
The man says he suffered severe persecution and torture in Syria before seeking asylum in the European country, where he has previously submitted an asylum claim which is still being processed.
However, he claims ISIS terrorists have tracked him down in the country and he is now living in fear of his life.
The court heard that on one occasion he had returned home to find a knife stabbed into the top of his refrigerator and an ISIS logo attached to the door.
After the man arrived in Jersey, the case was handed over to Customs, who rejected his asylum request on the grounds that he was not deemed to be at significant physical threat in the European country where he lives.
He has been held in custody in the Island since his arrest.
In court yesterday, Advocate Sarah Dale, representing the asylum seeker, sought leave to appeal against the decision to deport her client.
She argued that under international human rights laws, the man should not be returned as his physical safety was in danger.
She added that Customs had failed to take into account the psychological trauma he had suffered which would be heightened if he were to be sent back to the country.
The court heard that, before the interim injunction was granted, the man had attempted suicide in La Moye prison when he was told he was going to be deported.
Advocate Dale said: ‘Due to ongoing persecution and risks to his safety, my client has experienced some severe psychological trauma.
‘He has a history of suicide attempts – most recently in prison in Jersey after being told he would be returned.
‘This demonstrates the real level of fear he has at being returned.
‘The fact that his arrival in the Island in itself was risky in a small dinghy shows the extreme measure he has taken to try to escape persecution.’
She added that her client believed there were only two possible outcomes should he be returned – either he would be killed or the fear would lead to him committing suicide.
Advocate Steven Meiklejohn, representing the Home Affairs Minister, said that there was no suggestion the asylum seeker was being persecuted by the European country’s government.
He said: ‘My primary submission would be if what the [country’s] authorities have done was not reasonable or appropriate then my question would be, “What more can we do?
‘I ask my learned friend what more can be done? What more can be done in the UK and British islands to provide more protection?’
Advocate Meiklejohn said that the man had made several asylum claims in other countries in recent years, and suggested that he was ‘asylum shopping’.
He added that Customs could not be accused of failing to take his mental welfare into account as under questioning, the Syrian had informed officers that he had not suffered any psychological problems and was not taking any medication. A psychological report was not completed until earlier this week.
The case was adjourned for Customs to review the report and whether that might prompt them to reconsider their decision.
The Deputy Bailiff, Tim Le Cocq, was sitting alone on the case.