A convicted jihadist who plotted an ISIS-style beheading had his human rights breached by being placed in solitary confinement, a court ruled.
Nadir Syed, 24, was locked up by himself in a high-security prison weeks after leading a prison riot in which he threatened to decapitate his guards.
But Syed successfully argued that the UK Ministry of Justice had no right to inflict such a punishment on him.
Syed was jailed in December 2015 for planning to behead a poppy seller on Remembrance Day.
And just two months after being locked he was involved in the uprising at the top-security Woodhill Prison, in Buckinghamshire, England.
Syed led other Muslim inmates in rebelling against prisons guards, chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘God is Great’), banging on cell doors and threatening to decapitations.
Prison officers were advised to not stay alone with Syed for fear he would take the hostage the Mail on Sunday. There were also concerns he might try to kill guards and further incite other inmates after he swore to “radicalize the whole unit” in another prison.
Court documents reveal that while he was in custody Syed had said that, if convicted, he would get hold of a knife and use it to behead somebody.
Following the January incident, Syed was placed in a segregation cell and later relocated to a secure wing.
He subsequently sued the Ministry of Justice, arguing that placing him in the secure wing violated his human rights. Syed’s lawyers argued that restricting his ability to talk to other prisoners denied him “respect for his private life”, which is guaranteed by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
A High Court judge agreed, adding that his confinement was unlawful because he had not been notified about the move and thereby did not have an opportunity to respond. He called the move “procedurally flawed.”
The Ministry of Justice has said it may appeal the ruling. It is not clear whether Syed has been moved back to an ordinary cell in light of the ruling.
Syed’s case comes just days after justice officials announced plans to separate “extremist” and “jihadist” prisoners from mainstream inmates by confining them in completely separate jails units. The first is due to open this summer.