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Terror suspect loses fight against decision stripping him of UK citizenship

A terror suspect has lost a human rights fight against a decision to bar him from returning to Britain and strip him of his UK citizenship.

The Sudanese national was suspected of taking part in terrorism-related activities linked to the extremist group al Shabaab.

In 2010, the British Government deprived him of his UK citizenship and barred him from re-entering the country.

The man, who has not been named, brought a case against the measures at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

He claimed they violated his right to respect for private and family life, and had been discriminatory.

But judges at the Strasbourg court unanimously declared the application inadmissible.

The man, referred to as K2, was born in Sudan in 1982 and arrived in Britain as a child.

He became a naturalised UK citizen in 2000.

Nine years later he left the country after being arrested and charged with a public order offence arising out his participation in protests against Israeli military action in Gaza.

He says he went directly to Sudan, where he currently lives.

But UK authorities assessed he first travelled with two extremist associates to Somalia, where he engaged in terrorism-related activities linked to al Shabaab.

In June 2010, then home secretary Theresa May made an order depriving him of his UK citizenship.

She also notified K2 of her decision to exclude him from the UK on the ground he was "involved in terrorism-related activities" and had "links to a number of Islamic extremists".

K2 fought the moves in the UK courts, saying he could rebut the terrorism allegations but was unable to do so while he remained in Sudan.

He claimed he feared his communications were subject to surveillance and communicating about his case would expose him to a risk of harm.

This argument was rejected by British judges, who also went on to dismiss his appeal against the decision to deprive him of his UK citizenship.

The man's complaint at the ECtHR centres on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The clause states everyone has a right to respect for their private and family life.

In its decision, the court said it accepted an "arbitrary" denial of citizenship may, in certain circumstances, raise an issue under Article 8.

But it found no such issue arose in this case, and concluded the claim that deprivation of citizenship breached Article 8 was "manifestly ill-founded".

Judges also concluded the decision to exclude the man from the UK was not disproportionate with the legitimate aim of protecting the public from the threat of terrorism.

A Home Office spokesman said: "This Government puts the safety of our families, communities and country first and we welcome the court's judgment.

"Citizenship is a privilege not a right and it is right that the Home Secretary can deprive an individual of their citizenship where it is believed it is conducive to the public good to do so."

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