A lack of communication between government departments has meant self-confessed war criminals have not been deported or even investigated for their crimes after their asylum claims were rejected, according to the Home Office.
As many as 135 suspected war criminals have been left at liberty in Britain over the past three years after the Home Office rejected their asylum applications but did not forward their details to the appropriate agency for them to be deported, or to the police for their crimes abroad to be investigated. The actions of the individuals — 40 in 2015, 50 in 2014, and 45 in 2013 — came to light as Home Office officials assessed the asylum claims of those wishing to become permanent residents of the United Kingdom.
It was claimed by those seeking asylum that they could not return to their home nations — because the war crimes they had committed there meant if they went back they would be killed or tortured by their fellow countrymen. The Daily Mail reports that “hundreds” of people who had played roles in the wars in Rwanda, Afghanistan, Libya, Serbia, and Sri Lanka have come to Britain.
While the claims of the 135 were rejected, meaning they could no longer legally stay in the United Kingdom, they were not deported. The Home Office has now said the loophole has been closed, meaning self-confessed war criminals who presented catalogues of their actions as a reason to not be deported will now be properly investigated by the Metropolitan Police’s war crimes unit.
The paper reports the concern of human rights charity Amnesty International spokesman Allan Hogarth, who said of the revelation: “On the face of it, it’s hard to understand how all these individuals could have raised such serious concerns during a citizenship process yet apparently nothing at all be done over potentially putting these people on trial.
“If there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a person here has been involved in acts of torture, war crimes or even genocide in a foreign country then surely the Home Office must be alerting the police and prosecution authorities who have a duty to act.
“We absolutely mustn’t let Britain become some kind of bolthole for war criminals. Officials need to explain what’s happened here and what their policy is on referring such cases for further investigation and potential prosecution”.
Other European nations have been more proactive in dealing with war criminals who have travelled to the continent among the millions of migrants who have arrived over the course of the migration crisis. Breitbart London reported in April on German police who arrested a migrant they said had been responsible for war crimes during the Syrian civil war.
Prosecutors said the migrant had been the commander of a militia which had treated enemies “inhumanely” and had plundered ancient artifacts including priceless works of art which they attempted to sell.
Follow Oliver Lane on Twitter: Follow @Oliver_Lane or e-mail to: email@example.com