IN THE SPECIAL IMMIGRATION APPEALS COMMISSION
17 January 2020
The Secretary of State for the Home Department
ON the Appellant’s application for an anonymity order pursuant to 39(5)(h) of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Procedure) Rules 2003 and for an order restraining publication pursuant to section 11 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981
AND ON the Legal Representatives (as defined in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission Practice Note on Anonymity Orders and Related Measures dated 29 November 2018 – ‘the Practice Note’) having been notified of the application on 22 October 2019 by email
AND ON considering the documents served in support of this application in accordance with paragraph 28 of the Practice Note
AND ON the Appellant undertaking to keep the Commission and the Secretary of State informed of any matter which may affect the continued need for this order:
IT IS ORDERED THAT:
- The Appellant be granted anonymity in relation to the conduct of proceedings in the Commission and be known in these proceedings as B6.
- Nothing may be published which, directly or indirectly, identifies him as an appellant in these proceedings before the Commission.
- There be liberty to apply on 48 hours’ written notice to the Commission, to the Appellant, to the Secretary of State and to the Legal Representatives.
- This order continues until the OPEN judgment has been handed down in this appeal, or further order in the meantime, unless the Appellant indicates to the Commission, as soon as the OPEN judgment is circulated in draft, that he intends to apply for it to continue after the OPEN judgment is handed down, or for directions for the determination of any such application, whereupon this order will continue for the duration of the determination of that application.
- The Appellant’s case is that he has a high media profile. He is in Iran, but lived in the United Kingdom for over 30 years, and was a British citizen for 25 until the decision which is the subject of this appeal.
- His case is also that he faces allegations in Iran that he has acted contrary to the national security of Iran. He has been the subject of legal proceedings there. He has been detained, and interrogated ‘harshly’. The proceedings are suspended at the moment. He is now on bail in Iran. The Iranian authorities know about his appeal to the Commission.
- The Secretary of State’s OPEN allegation against him is that he is member of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security. He denies this. It is difficult to rebut this allegation and media exposure will increase those difficulties.
- If his identity were revealed, his family in the United Kingdom would face difficult circumstances. If there were any risk of exposure, he says that he would have to consider carefully whether to withdraw his appeal. His high profile means that if he were identified in these proceedings there would be ‘far-reaching adverse effects’.
- The Commission is not in position to make findings of fact about the Appellant’s case for anonymity. The Commission notes that the Iranian authorities know about the appeal. Some of the evidence in support of the application is vague, but the Commission bears in mind that the Appellant is not legally represented (the Special Advocates are acting for him in this application) and that he has difficulty in communicating openly and frankly with them because of his situation in Iran.
- On balance, the Commission considers that the encroachment made into the principle of open justice by this order, and its interference with the article 10 rights of the media and of the public is justified.