Wednesday 13 December 2017

Court of Appeal to hear 'torture' plea by alleged Isil 'recruiter'

The alleged Isil ‘recruiter’ is afraid he will face torture and persecution if he is deported to the Middle East. Stock Picture
The alleged Isil ‘recruiter’ is afraid he will face torture and persecution if he is deported to the Middle East. Stock Picture
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

The Court of Appeal will sit today to hear an appeal against a High Court ruling permitting the deportation of a father-of-four alleged to be the "main recruiter" in Ireland for Islamic extremists.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is seeking to overturn last Monday's decision by High Court Judge Ms Justice Carmel Stewart, which cleared the way for his imminent deportation to the Middle East.

The man, who has an Irish-born son, denies claims by the State that he is the "foremost organiser and facilitator of travel by extremists prepared to undertake violent action" on behalf of Isil. He also denies that he is "consulted by and gives directions to senior, violent extremist leaders" outside of Ireland.

In court papers, the man says he is "deeply afraid" that he will face persecution, torture and potentially "fatal consequences" if he is deported.

Yesterday, Court of Appeal judge Mr Justice Michael Peart granted a stay against the man's deportation until 2pm today, when a three-judge court will hear the man's appeal.

Judge Peart also renewed reporting restrictions imposed by the High Court under the Refugee Act 1996 preventing the man's identification.

Yesterday, the man's lawyers filed a notice of appeal against Judge Stewart's decision with the Court of Appeal, asking it to sit as soon as possible.

Judge Peart then sat at 5pm yesterday evening to consider an application for a stay on the man's deportation pending an appeal.

Judge Peart was told by Senior Counsel Michael Lynn, for the man in question, that arrangements are in place to deport him before January 11 next if he did not leave the State voluntarily by December 30. The barrister said the man and his advisers took the view that he is at immediate risk of removal despite the timeline set out by a letter accompanying his deportation order.

Mr Lynn said the appeal was urgent because of fears the man may be subject to inhuman and degrading treatment, and possibly torture, if he is deported.

Judge Peart granted a short stay against deportation until today's hearing.

On Monday, Judge Stewart heard that an intelligence operation led by senior gardaí working with their counterparts overseas had identified the man as the "main recruiter" in Ireland for Islamic extremists to wage 'jihad' in Syria and other conflict zones.

Senior Counsel Remy Farrell, for the State, told Judge Stewart that the man was involved in a "nihilistic organisation [Isil] that poses an existential threat" to Ireland and other countries.

The man in his 50s, who has been living in Ireland for the last 15 years, has claimed he has been previously subject to torture in the Middle East.

Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) prohibits inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment, including a ban on torture.

Irish Independent

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