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Sunday, May 6, 2012

New human rights condition for UK visa

Britain today introduced a new clause in its immigration rules which says that non-European Union citizens accused of serious human rights violations may be banned from entering the country.

As per existing rules, such foreign nationals can only be prevented from entering the UK if they are viewed as a threat to national security.

Visitors can not be excluded from entering the country on the basis of human rights abuses, but the new proviso will change the conditions.

The change was included in a report on human rights released by Foreign Secretary William Hague today.

It said: "Britain welcomes visitors from around the world – this year even more than ever. But not those who have perpetrated human rights abuses. Foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area may only come to the United Kingdom if they satisfy the requirements of the Immigration Rules".

The report added: "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".

Welcoming the new condition for immigration, Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil liberties group Liberty, said: "The devil is in the detail. However given the understandable outrage when it becomes difficult to deport undesirables, it is common sense to apply greater scrutiny before allowing people accused of grave crimes from entering the UK in the first place".

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