Raed Salah wins appeal against deportation ‘on all grounds’
Statement from JfJfP
JfJfP very much welcomes the decision against the deportation of Sheikh Raed Salah. On April 7th, the Vice-President of the Upper Immigration Tribunal ruled that “the Secretary of State’s decision….appears to have been entirely unnecessary” and that Sheikh Raed’s appeal against the deportation order “succeeds on all grounds.”
In June last year JfJfP sent the letter below to the Home Secretary. We are delighted to have played a part in this outcome that exonerates both Sheikh Raed Salah and the British justice system.
JfJfP letter to the Home Secretary regarding the arrest of Sheikh Raed Salah
Jews for Justice for Palestinians wish to make the strongest possible objection to the arrest and possible deportation of Sheikh Raed Salah. Over the last three days, Sheikh Salah has been addressing public meetings and has even appeared in the Houses of Parliament. It is difficult to understand how the Government could suddenly have become so agitated by his presence.
We note the reason for his arrest is that ‘his presence is not conducive to the public good’. We say on the contrary, his arrest and deportation would certainly not be conducive to the public good. We note that the press has been making scurrilous accusations against him, which are subject to a libel action. This would be difficult to pursue, were he to be deported, thus undermining the judicial process. We have been unable to find any substance to the allegations of antisemitism made against him. He appeared recently on a platform in Tel Aviv University which upheld his right to speak there. One does not have to agree with someone to allow them the right to speak.
We believe the decision of the Home Secretary sends exactly the wrong message to the people of this country, namely that Free Speech is a moveable feast, once those with certain interests make a decision as to entitlement. Furthermore, we believe this decision will have most unfortunate consequences for community cohesion in this country, targeting as it does someone with a strong following in the Muslim community.
We would strongly urge you to reconsider your decision.
By Asa Winstanley, electronic intifada
The news broke last night that Palestinian activist Sheikh Raed Salah had won his appeal against deportation from the UK in the Upper Tier (Immigration) Tribunal in London.
My full story will be published on EI soon, including new revelations about the case, and its implications for the government’s Prevent “anti-terrorism” strategy. Meanwhile, here is the judge’s decision (a scan of the full document is forthcoming, but this extract is essentially the bottom line).
It is an important ruling. You’ll note in paragraph 90 that the judge Mark Ockelton even says of the ban (“exclusion order”) which Home Secretary Theresa May secretly imposed on Salah that there is now “no lawful basis” for it to be implemented. This is important, as the appeal was against the deportation, not the banning order.
Three of the groups that organised Raed Salah’s UK tour have also issued press releases:MEMO, Friends of Al-Aqsa and the PSC.
Salah has been stuck in the UK since June 2011, when he was arrested, despite entering the country legally for a well-publicised speaking tour. He was released on conditional bail in July and has been fighting in the courts to clear his name since then.