Home Office blocked from deporting man with HIV over rights concern

Home Office is blocked from deporting Zimbabwean career criminal with HIV, 33, because it would breach his human rights by denying him vital medication

  • Supreme Court rules deportation of man to Zimbabwe would breach his rights
  • Court accepted ‘AM’ would not have access to same HIV drugs in Zimbabwe
  • Home Office launched deportation bid in 2006 after ‘AM’ committed offences
  • He was later jailed for nine years for dealing heroin and possession of firearm 

A court has today blocked a Home Office bid to deport a HIV-positive Zimbabwean man with a lengthy criminal record, including drugs and weapons offences, because it would breach his human rights.

Supreme Court judges accepted the man, who has not been named, would be denied access to life-saving HIV treatment if sent back to Zimbabwe – because the medication he is taking is not available there.

Home Office chiefs first made a bid to deport the 33-year-old, identified only as ‘AM’, more than 14 years ago.

As reported in The Guardian, AM originally came to the UK in 2000 and was granted indefinite leave to remain four years later.

Judge as the Supreme Court (pictured) accepted the man, who has not been named, would be denied access to life-saving HIV treatment if sent back to Zimbabwe – because the medication he is taking is not available there

AM, who is married and has a son, was later convicted of a number of criminal offences, including assault and possession of a blade, leading Home Office chiefs to make an order to deport him in 2006.  

Lawyers challenged the order in 2012, after AM was jailed for nine years in 2009 for the dealing heroin and possession of a firearm.

The Supreme Court ruled that deporting AM would breach his human rights. Pictured: Lord Wilson, who gave the judgment

AM, who was diagnosed with HIV in 2003, but had not become seriously ill until later, initially appealed against deportation claiming it would breach his right to a family life – under the European Convention on Human Rights.

But the case was switched to a new section of the convention, which protects people from inhuman or degrading treatment, such as torture.

It followed a ruling at the European Court of Human Rights, which establishes that those with serious illness cannot be deported if it is likely to substantially reduce that person’s life expectancy.

In AM’s case, the Supreme Court heard he would not be able to access to antiretroviral drug Eviplera if deported to Zimbabwe.  

As reported in the Guardian, delivering judgment, Lord Wilson said: ‘The reaction of many British citizens is likely to be: ‘We don’t want this man here.’ 

“This is not one of those highly exceptional situations in which we should decline to follow a decision of the European Court of Human Rights.’

The case will now be taken to an immigration tribunal.

MailOnline has contacted the Home Office for a comment. 

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