State treason could be one of the reasons for citizenship deprivation

In the latest decision of Court of Appeal, (Pham v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 2064), it was ruled that a person could be deprived from his British citizenship if he shows disloyalty to his country.

It is believed that the applicant, Mr. Pham, is originally from Vietnam who immigrated to the United Kingdom in 1989, when he was 6 years old. In 1995, he acquired British citizenship. Later he converted to Islam and travelled to Yemen. After his extradition to the United States of America, he was convicted and found guilty of organizing military training, providing materials and resources for the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization, as well as for carrying and using Kalashnikov assault rifle to facilitate crimes related to violence. It is evident that Mr. Pham was engaged in terrorist activities abroad.

In the Supreme Court, the issue of his first citizenship was raised and discussed as deprivation of citizenship is not possible if the person becomes stateless. However, the Supreme Court in the case of Mr. Pham decided that according to Vietnamese law,  he would be a Vietnamese citizen by birth and hence not stateless.

Thus, ultimately, the court ruled that a British citizen must be loyal to his state and if this obligation is violated, the Home Office has the right to deprive British citizenship. This controversial decision raised many questions such as, why should Vietnam accept Mr. Pham after his British citizenship was deprived if the Islam radicalisation happened on the territory of the United Kingdom.

Posted on Oct 01, 2018.

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