Media reports in South Korea had suggested that the camp, officially known as Penal Labour Colony 22, had been abandoned and the inmates dispersed to other prisons.
Imagery collected by the Washington-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea as recently as October 11 indicates the camp continues to function, it said in a report.
“Harvesting of crops continues, as does coal production, making it not yet clear that the camp has closed and that North Korean authorities have been slowly transferring small sections of prisoners out of Camp 22 and replacing them with a regular workforce from other locations,” the group said in a statement.
In each case, the Home Office accepted their argument that deporting them would breach their human rights rather than asking a judge to decide. The number has increased fivefold in four years, throwing into doubt the commitment of Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to deporting foreign criminals.
They were allowed to stay despite Damian Green, the immigration minister, telling the Commons last December that the Government was “doing everything in our power to increase the number and speed of removals”.
The figures, disclosed to The Telegraph under the Freedom of Information Act, show that there were 56 such cases in 2008, rising to 80 in 2009, 217 in 2010 and 250 in 2011 and that:
• In 2011, at least one terrorist – and possibly up to four – was allowed to stay, as well as up to eight killers and rapists. Also among the total were 20 robbers and up to eight paedophiles, plus as many as four people convicted of firearms offences.
• In 2010, the Home Office conceded in the cases of up to four murderers and up to four people convicted of manslaughter, as well as up to four rapists, up to eight paedophiles and 43 people convicted of violent crime or robbery.
The bombardment began before dawn. Government tanks pounded a civilian neighbourhood with artillery in an attack that struck dozens of homes. By early morning nine women and three children were among the dead, the pro-opposition watchdog the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
YouTube footage showed a mosque strewn with casualties. The wounded lay groaning the carpeted floor, surrounded by family members as doctors sought to treat them with limited medical supplies.
The disturbing scenes came only a day after UN observers gained access to the site of a bloody massacre where dozens of civilians were stabbed or shot to death.
The traces of the atrocity were obvious; as the monitors entered al-Qubeir village they found an entire neighbourhood razed to the ground, the flesh of the victims stick stuck to some of the burnt walls.
“Armoured vehicle tracks were in the vicinity. Some homes were damaged by rockets from armoured vehicles, grenades and a range of calibre weapons,” said Mark Nesirky, UN Spokesperson.
Former shadow home secretary David Davis said Section 5 of the 1986 Public Order Act was having a ”terrible, chilling effect on democracy”.
Polling suggests almost two-thirds of MPs back Mr Davis, according to a campaign which has brought together religious and secular groups along with human rights and minority organisations.
Under the legislation, the use of ”insulting words or behaviour” is outlawed, but opponents say there is too little clarity of what that includes, leading to spurious arrests.
One teenage boy was arrested for holding a ”Scientology is a dangerous cult” placard and a student was held for telling a police officer his horse was ”gay”, they said.
While it was right to protect people against unjust discrimination and the incitement of violence against them, the campaign said, insulting behaviour was open to too much interpretation.
The campaign is using the slogan ”Feel free to insult me”.
Mr Davis said repeal was ”vital to protecting freedom of expression in Britain today”.
The Home Secretary disclosed last week that immigration rules will be changed by the summer to ensure the “right to private and family life” can only be used to avoid deportation in “rare and exceptional cases”.
But the country’s most senior immigration judge has delivered a ruling in a landmark case which, experts say, reinforces the rights of immigrants who commit serious crimes to avoid deportation.
Mr Justice Blake, the president of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, said a “settled migrant” could not be removed from the country unless there were “very serious reasons” to do so.
Having lived in the UK from a young age, or having a child or partner here, can strengthen a criminal’s claim to stay.
The judge has flagged up his ruling as a “reported determination”, which means that it will used by other judges to decide similar cases.
Islamist fanatics want rule by the sharia, their version of the law of God. They reject what they call “man-made” laws – the laws by which most nations live. For the same reason, Islamists reject democracy. It is a sham, they say, and an offence against God.
Those who support the untrammelled power of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) are the secular equivalent. They think that the European Convention on Human Rights and the Strasbourg court which enforces it are sacred. They believe these rights should be forced upon people everywhere, regardless of how anyone votes. Human rights are their sharia.
In Iran, the Guardian Council of senior clergy makes the final decision about whether anything passed by the parliament is compatible with Islamic law. In Europe, the ECHR has the same absolute authority over the decisions of all the member parliaments, including our own. True, its punishments do not (yet) involve stoning or the cutting off of hands, but the principle is the same: “We,” says the priesthood of human rights lawyers, “are in possession of the truth: no other power may stand against us.”
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, says the proposals to allow same-sex unions are “madness” and a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”.
The cardinal’s intervention, in an article for The Sunday Telegraph, is the strongest criticism yet from any church figure of the plans, which are due to be unveiled this month by Lynne Featherstone, the equalities minister.
He accuses ministers of trying to “redefine reality” and change long-standing laws and traditions “at the behest of a small minority of activists”.
The cardinal has added his voice to those of leading figures in the Coalition for Marriage, a group of bishops, politicians and lawyers opposed to the changes. The group’s supporters include Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury.
The group is in outright opposition to Mr Cameron, who hopes to make legislation changing the legal definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, expected by 2015, one of the central achievements of his time in office.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that three children and a woman were among 13 people who died in “intensive shelling” that targeted the Homs neighbourhood of Baba Amr.
The Khaldiyeh and Karm al-Zaytoun sectors were also blitzed, the Britain-based monitoring group said.
Activists have said that in the past few days the regime has been bolstering its forces outside Homs, apparently to storm the city after 18 straight days of siege.
The Observatory said a military convoy of 56 vehicles, including tanks and personnel carriers, were seen Tuesday travelling on the highway from Damascus, near the town of Qarah, 70 kilometres (38 miles) south of Homs.
It said heavy shelling for two hours early Tuesday of Khaldiyeh and Karm al-Zaytoun later gave way to more sporadic attacks.
The protesters emerged from mosques after the main weekly Muslim prayers, including in Damascus, following a call by Internet-based activists for a rally for a “new phase of popular resistance.”
“We want revenge against Bashar and Maher,” they chanted at gatherings across the country, according to videos posted on YouTube, referring to the president’s brother, who heads the feared Fourth Armoured Division.
They turned out after the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly backed an Arab League initiative calling on Assad to step aside, and ahead of a visit by a Chinese envoy pushing for peace.
Assad, in remarks to visiting Mauritanian Prime Minister Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf, said reforms have to be synchronised with a “return to peace” in the country torn apart by violence.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 12 people were killed so far on Friday, one of them at a demonstration that was fired upon in the capital.
Troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have been shelling Homs for more than a week to retake parts of the city captured by rebel forces. Hundreds are believed to have been killed since last Saturday, and the humanitarian conditions in the city were worsening.
Homs was under “brutal shelling” on Tuesday, the Local Coordination Committees activist group said, citing its network of witnesses on the ground.
With diplomatic efforts bogged down, the conflict in Syria is taking on the dimensions of a civil war, with army defectors clashing almost daily with soldiers.
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay warned on Monday that the Security Council’s failure to take action has emboldened the Syrian government to launch an all-out assault.