For the first time, Britain will tomorrow deport a failed asylum seeker back to Uzbekistan. Jahongir Sidikov, a member of the banned main opposition party Erk, is currently held in Harmondswoth Detention Centre. His ticket has already been purchased for deportation tomorrow.
Previously, as a matter of policy, this country did not deport political activists to Uzbekistan because they will face severe torture and probable death. The totalitarian Uzbek government has since become even more repressive, with widespread imprisonment, torture and extra-judicial killing of dissidents. The immigration officers who escort Jahongir onto that plane are in effect implementing capital punishment. This is a deeply, deeply shameful action by New Labour.