From the Telegraph, with thanks to all who sent this in:
Nine Afghan asylum seekers who hijacked a plane at gunpoint to get to Britain should have been admitted to the country as genuine refugees and allowed to live and work here freely, the High Court ruled yesterday.
In a decision that astonished and dismayed MPs, the Home Office was accused of abusing its powers by failing to give the nine formal permission to enter Britain, in breach of their human rights.
The hijack at Stansted
A police marksman walks past the hijacked plane during the February 2000 stand-off at Stansted
It is the second time human rights laws have worked to the advantage of the hijackers.
Two years ago, attempts to eject them from the country were thwarted when an immigration court said this would expose them to the risk of inhuman or degrading treatment in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention.
The Afghanis argued that their lives would be in danger – even though in late 2001 British troops had helped topple the Taliban from whom they said they were fleeing.
The hijackers, armed with handguns and explosives, took control of a Boeing 727 on an internal flight from Kabul in February 2000 and ordered the plane to be flown to Britain.
It was directed to Stansted in Essex, where the hijackers gave themselves up after a 70-hour stand-off with police and the SAS.
They were later jailed for various offences but the convictions were quashed in 2003 on the grounds that the law of duress had not been properly applied at their trial.
After the Home Office subsequently failed to have them deported in 2004, they were granted temporary admission to the country for themselves and their families.
Charles Clarke, the then home secretary, declined to give them full refugee status, fearing this would send out the wrong message and be seen as a “licence to hijack”.