BEIRUT: The United Kingdom has begun using secret citizenship-stripping powers to crack down on dual nationals who have fought in the Syrian war, according to a report published Monday in the Independent.
The newspaper said Theresa May, the home secretary, had pulled the British passport from 20 people this year, a figure that is higher than in her previous two-and-a-half years on the job.
The paper quoted an anonymous former diplomat who said it was an “open secret” that Britons who had fought in the war in Syria were in considerable danger of losing their U.K. passport.
The diplomat estimated that between 40 and 240 British nationals were in Syria, and echoed the concerns of some that the government’s actions could contribute to human rights violations.
Some critics note that by stripping individuals of their U.K. citizenship, governments might subject the individuals to torture and ill-treatment if they return to their home countries.