Somali slashing and Syrian repatriation

The BBC programme Broadcasting House had a feature on the Somali community this morning, in reaction to the case of a girl being slashed by a Somali classmate, an orphan with a very low IQ whom she had earlier taken part in bullying. You can download an MP3 of the programme (the feature on Somalis in the UK is in the last few minutes).

Also, Amnesty International recently reported that a Syrian who was refused asylum in the UK was jailed in Syria for twelve years by the country’s unaccountable and “notoriously unfair” Supreme State Security Court for belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood:

Muhammad Osama Sayes was brought before the Supreme State Security Court (SSSC) on 4 December 2005 and again on 15 January 2006. It is not known whether he has any legal representation. According to reports he is charged with membership of the MB; spreading false information against the state (apparently by seeking asylum abroad); and possessing a forged passport. Under Law 49 of 1980, membership of or affiliation to the MB is punishable by execution, although this is usually commuted to 12 years’ imprisonment. His case has been adjourned until 12 March. Amnesty International has repeatedly raised concerns that the SSSC procedures fall far short of international standards for fair trial. Muhammad Osama Sayes was held for months in incommunicado detention, but in January 2006 it was reported that he had received at least one family visit.

Muhammad Osama Sayes was deported from the UK, via Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, in May 2005, after his asylum claim in the UK was rejected, despite his known membership of the outlawed MB. Muhammad Osama Sayes was arrested on his arrival in Damascus and transferred to the Political Security branch in Damascus. He is now held in Sednaya prison.

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