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Events in Clapham should not be used to inflict more miseries on genuine asylum cases

Editorial: Pressing questions must be asked about what went wrong with Home Office procedures in the case of Abdul Ezedi – but sexual crimes ought to mean automatic disqualification for would-be refugees

Friday 02 February 2024 18:36 GMT
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Clapham chemical attack suspect Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, caught on CCTV in north London
Clapham chemical attack suspect Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, caught on CCTV in north London (Metropolitan Police/AFP)

Abdul Shokoor Ezedi is the subject of a nationwide manhunt in connection with a horrific assault in south London, involving a mother, two girls and some bystanders who attempted to intervene in the attack. This must primarily be a police matter, to be dealt with through the criminal justice system, with the interest of the victims and the safety of the public central at all times. A crime has been committed, and one of extreme violence that has, so it is said, left those affected with “life-changing” injuries.

Understandably, it has captured the public’s attention and sparked concerns. Quite rightly, the issue of using corrosive substances to injure and disfigure people is one that horrifies, and attention needs to be paid to the ready availability of acids and corrosive alkalines which, in the wrong hands, can be just as dangerous as a firearm or a blade. These assaults were carried out on a residential street and, as far as can be judged, with some forward planning.

Inevitably, because Ezedi has been granted asylum in the UK, this aspect of the case has also attracted comment, some rational and constructive, but far too much which merely seeks to use the misery of the victims of this assault for predictable and spurious political purposes.

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