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Wednesday, 29 June 2011
The Sheikh entered the UK openly on 25 June and his schedule was known well in advance by UK authorities. This included a meeting in Parliament on 26 June and a public meeting the same night at Conway Hall, London, organised by PSC and MEMO on the subject of the Arab Spring and its impact on Palestine.
Despite this, the Sheikh was arrested in his hotel room last night under section 3 of the Immigration Act 1971. The Home Secretary, Teresa May, subsequently announced in the House of Commons that he was excluded from entering the UK. The government has not made clear when the ban was issued, and the Sheikh's legal team had not been contacted.
The Sheikh has appealed against the deportation in court. His team had already begun legal proceedings against Daily Telegraph and Jewish Chronicle journalists for printing false allegations about him last week.
Deporting, and subsequently banning, Sheikh Raed from the UK will be a violation of his right to free speech, his right to speak out on behalf of Palestine, and a victory for those who have spread the baseless rumours defaming his reputation. It is also notable that this ConDem government is trying to change the law to allow Israeli war criminals to enter the UK without fear of arrest. This is hypocrisy of the worst kind.
Protest today/Write to the Home Secretary
Call or email the Home Secretary asking her to reconsider the decision. An Israeli court cleared Sheikh Raed of charges of making anti-Semitic comments. The Sheikh has reiterated that charges were dropped because there was no evidence against him. On what basis is he being excluded from the UK? Email: email@example.com T: 020 7219 5206
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