UK restricts entry for rights abuse suspects

Financial Times

Britain has strengthened its immigration rules to make it more difficult for people believed to have perpetrated human rights abuses abroad to enter the country, according to Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials.

In a move this week that could make it particularly difficult for individuals accused of human rights abuses in Russia to enter the UK, the FCO announced a change to British immigration rules in its annual Human Rights Report this week.

In that report, the FCO states for the first time that “where there is independent, reliable and credible evidence that an individual has committed human rights abuses, the individual will not normally be permitted to enter the United Kingdom.”

Before this week’s change, UK immigration rules stated broadly that an individual “could be refused a visa or entry on the general grounds that entry to the UK would not be conducive to the public good”.
FCO officials say this week’s change implies a deliberate new emphasis by the UK government on the need to penalise human rights abuses.

“Where there is reliable evidence that an individual has committed human rights abuses, the presumption is that they would not be allowed entry in to the UK,” said an official. “Many people are drawn to visit London to buy property, invest money and educate their children. What we are saying is that if you are guilty of human rights abuses you cannot now expect to do that.”

Some human rights lawyers say the UK’s ruling could make it harder for people accused of the arrest torture and killing of Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year-old Russian lawyer, to enter the UK.

Mr Magnitsky exposed $230m in Russia government corruption and was later arrested, tortured and killed in Russian police custody. No one has been prosecuted for this crime and all law enforcement officials involved have been exonerated.

Last month, the House of Commons passed a unanimous resolution calling for a travel ban and asset freeze on 60 named Russian officials linked to the death of Mr Magnitsky.

Denis MacShane, a Labour MP and former Europe minister, said Britain should publish names of human rights abusers who will be denied entry to the UK.

“It is only by pre-naming and shaming those state functionaries complicit in killings and other human rights abuses that the message will get across that such crimes have consequences,” he said.

“Anonymous bans are useless in terms of extending soft power so that the message goes out to those who organise killings or torture that their names are a matter of public record. Russian hit squads are turning Britain’s capital into ‘Londongrad’ and we have have had no accounting by the Chinese communist authorities for the killing of Neil Heywood.” unshaven girl онлайн займы https://zp-pdl.com/get-quick-online-payday-loan-now.php https://zp-pdl.com/how-to-get-fast-payday-loan-online.php онлайн займ

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