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Hijackers (Asylum)

Volume 87: debated on Wednesday 27 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the two hijackers Yassil Membar and Mohammed Tahir Ahmed who brought an aeroplane to Stansted in 1983 and have now been released from prison have been allowed to remain in the United Kingdom; whether they will be allowed to draw social security benefits; and if he will make a statement.

We have refused applications for asylum made by Mr. Membar and Mr. Ahmed, but decided that to return them to Tanzania against their will would be inconsistent with undertakings given to them at the time to the hijacking. These undertakings were confirmed in writing on 29 April, 1982 after the hijack was over to my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley (Sir P. Wall). They have accordingly been given exceptional leave to remain in the United Kingdom for 12 months. Eligibility for social security benefits is a matter for my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Social Services.