Friday, September 21, 2007
Manfred Roeder arrested at Heathrow and excluded from UK
Veteran German nationalist Manfred Roeder arrived at Heathrow Airport on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt at 1.25 on Sunday afternoon (Sept 16th).
He was paying a social visit to some old comrades in London.Mr Roeder, who is 78 years old and has suffered several strokes, was detained on arrival by two plain clothes officers who refused to give their names.
He was photographed seven times and fingerprinted twice.
His passport and luggage were confiscated and copies taken of his diary, address book and other documents.For more than three hours Mr Roeder was questioned under the Terrorism Actand was not allowed to contact either his German office or the British colleague waiting in the Arrivals area ofHeathrow's Terminal 2.
Eventually the police contacted this British colleague and questioned him about Mr Roeder's travel plans and political connections in the UK.At no time was there any suggestion that Mr Roeder or his British colleagues had committed (or were preparing to commit) any crime in the UK - let alone a terrorist crime.
On the formgiving "Reasons for Detention", which without deliberate irony states "detention is only used when there is no reasonable alternative available", none of the boxes giving real reasons for detention were ticked - it was claimed only that"your release is not considered conducive to the public good."
A British solicitor was put on the case and made repeated calls to Heathrow and to Paddington Green police station in an effort to ascertain Mr Roeder's whereabouts, but the authorities refused to cooperate.
The Terrorism Act documents served on Mr Roeder do not carry the names orsignatures of the arresting and interrogating officers, who are identified only as 176519 and 180813
Eventually after 6 pm (almost five hours after arriving at the airport) MrRoeder was told that despite being an EU national he was excluded from the UK on the orders of the Home Secretary.
The official notice stated that "the Secretary of State has given his (sic) personal direction that you should be refused admission to the United Kingdom on the grounds that your presence here would not be conducive to the public good on the grounds of public policy".
In an absurdity worthy of Alice in Wonderland, Mr Roeder was told that"Regulation 26" gave him the right of appeal, but "Regulation 27" dictated that he could only lodge this appeal after he had been deported.
Consequently a German national in this case is given fewer legal rights than an illegal immigrant or bogus asylum seeked from any corner of the globe, who would be allowed to remain in the country for months or years while appealing.
The final insult was that Mr Roeder was not allowed to inform his colleagues in Britain or Germany as to which flight he was being deported on, so there was no one immediately on hand to collect him back in Frankfurt.
His passport was retained by the airline staff until the plane landed in Germany, just in case this 78 year old was tempted to abscond from the plane!
A detailed appeal is now being prepared against this unjustified and inhumane action by the UK authorities.