Libyan soldiers convicted of sexual assault in Cambridge now seeking asylum

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From the Cambridge News

Three Libyan soldiers convicted of sexual assaulting teenage girls in Cambridge are seeking asylum in this country.

Khaled El Azibi, Naji El Maarfi and Mohammed Abdalsalam carried out the attacks while stationed at Bassingbourn Barracks, near Royston, last October.

A police spokesman told the News: “All we can say is all three men have been released from prison into a secure immigration unit and they are now seeking asylum.”

A lawyer for one of their three victims said the woman was “dismayed”. 

Specialist abuse lawyer Richard Scorer, of Slater and Gordon, which is representing a woman who was sexually assaulted by Libyan cadets, said: “She is dismayed by this news and feels it would be an insult if they were to be granted asylum.

“These men committed very serious crimes while being trained by the British Army at the Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridge. Their actions have had a devastating impact on their victims. For these victims to learn that their attackers are now seeking asylum, and could remain in the country, risks setting back their attempts to rebuild their lives and move on from their ordeal. If you have to do that in the knowledge that that person has now come to this country and is trying to build a life here, I think that is very, very, very difficult to deal with, and completely wrong and unacceptable. I think it’s a breach of their human rights and really we can’t allow this to happen.”

Indeed. The human rights of the victims should be a priority.

The incidents prompted the Ministry of Defence to send the soldiers back to their home country early, ending an agreement to put 2,000 soldiers through basic infantry and junior command training in an attempt to help rebuild the troubled nation. Prime Minister David Cameron previously insisted that no Libyan soldiers involved in the programme should be granted asylum after a “very small handful” made applications to stay in the UK.

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