Asylum seeker loses damages battle

An asylum seeker today lost his High Court battle for damages under human rights laws after his family suffered intimidation and violence when sent to live in Scotland.

A judge spoke of the "shame of the UK" over the case, but nevertheless rejected the application.

Mehmet Gezer, 51, a Turkish Kurd, launched a High Court claim for compensation against Home Secretary David Blunkett and the National Asylum Support Service (Nass).

He also wanted a declaration that the decision of Nass in September 2001 to disperse him and his family to a tough Glasgow estate infringed the European Convention on Human Rights.

Mr Justice Moses, sitting in London, said no one could fail to feel sympathy for the family as the "undisputed social intimidation and violence" its members suffered "brings shame upon any country which holds itself out as a safe haven against persecution".

But the treatment meted out to them "was not the treatment to which the UK or its agents itself subjected the claimant and his family".

And the decision to disperse the family "did not amount to a failure to provide adequate protection" against inhuman and degrading treatment under Article 3 of the convention.

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