Iranian asylum seeker cleared of Channel smuggling charges

January 2021: BBC: Channel migrants: Iranian jailed for piloting two dinghies

‘Following the sentencing, the Home Office’s Clandestine Channel Threat Commander Dan O’Mahoney said Kakaei’s actions “risked lives” and the prosecution “put a stop to that cycle of criminality”.

This is what the New Plan for Immigration rests on, calling people seeking asylum ‘criminals’, but on retrial:

14 May 2021: Guardian: Iranian asylum seeker cleared of Channel smuggling charges

Man who took turn steering boat ‘because he didn’t want to die’ freed, with case opening way for others to appeal their sentences

An asylum seeker jailed on smuggling charges for helping to steer a boat filled with migrants from France to England has had his conviction overturned at a retrial after spending 17 months in jail.

Lawyers and campaigners say the verdict could lead to other migrants currently in jail on smuggling charges being freed, allowing the Home Office policy of prosecuting asylum seekers who play a role in piloting boats across the Channel to be challenged more widely.

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Care4Calais: ‘This verdict is a victory for justice. A person who drives a small boat across the Channel may simply be a desperate refugee with no money to pay a smuggler. Treating them as a criminal is scapegoating that avoids the real issues that should be addressed. This case will have implications for both future prosecutions and past convictions, potentially making it possible for those already serving sentences to now appeal.’