As Raed Salah case goes to High Court, UK solidarity campaigners call for action

On Friday the High Court in London will hear an appeal from Sheikh Raed Salah, a popular Palestinian leader, and head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel who has been in a British jail since his arrest four days into a UK speaking tour late last month.

Palestine solidarity activists in the UK have called for supporters to take action to demand Salah’s release.

Salah was ordered deported by UK Home Secretary Theresa May although he has not been accused of any crime and no specific reasons have been stated, as The Electronic Intifada reported.

Salah had been scheduled, among other engagements, to speak at the British parliament at an event that was expected to be attended by a number of legislators.

Salah decided to fight the deportation order. On 8 July an immigration judge refused to release him on bail pending the outcome of his appeals.

Dr. Ibrahim Hamami, a well-known Palestinian activist in the UK, who visited Salah in detention shortly after his arrest, provided an update on Salah’s case via his email listserv today (original Arabic text below), stating that Salah’s appeal before the High Court in London would be heard on Friday, 15 July.

Hamami noted that Salah’s morale remained high and he was determined to fight a decision that sullied his name and which the Islamic Movement in Israel considered an “Israeli decision implented by the British.”

Meanwhile the Palestine Solidarity Campaign has urged supporters to join an emergency protest at 10AM on Friday morning outside the Royal Courts of Justice in central London, and to contact their Members of Parliament as well as the Home Secretary.

الشيخ رائد صلاح وتطورات قضيته

بعد جلسة الاستماع الجمعة الماضية 08/07/2011 أمام قاض شؤون الهجرة، وعدم اتخاذ قرار بإطلاق سراحه بكفالة، متذرعاً ومستنداً على ما اعتبره ثقة بقرار وزيرة الداخلية بابعاد الشيخ رائد صلاح عن الأراضي البريطانية دون مبررات واضحة، وبعد تقديم فريق الدفاع طلباً لعقد جلسة استماع أمام المحكمة العليا في لندن، تقرر أن يكون يوم الغد الجمعة 15/07/2011 هو موعد الجلسة أمام قاضي المحكمة العليا.

ولم توجه تهمة محددة للشيخ رائد صلاح، لكن اتخذ قرار بابعاده من الأراضي البريطانية بسبب ما اسمته الداخلية خطراً على الجمهور، رغم أن توقيفه جاء بعد أربعة أيام من دخوله الأراضي البريطانية، كان خلالها يتحرك بناء على برنامج معد ومعلن قبل أسابيع من وصوله، بما فيه القاء كلمة داخل البرلمان البريطاني نفسه.

وقد قرر الشيخ رائد صلاح الاعتراض على قرار الابعاد باعتباره قراراً ظالماً وغير مبرر رافضاً المغادرة على أول طائرة كما كان مقرراً، ولجأ للقضاء لاستبيان الأسباب الكامنة وراء مثل هذا القرار، الذي اعتبرته الحركة الاسلامية في الداخل قراراً اسرائيلياً بتنفيذ بريطاني.

ويحافظ الشيخ رائد صلاح على معنويات عالية جداً، حيث لم تفارقه ابتسامته المعهودة، وقد نظم حتى اللحظة ثلاث قصائد شعرية، ورسم تسع لوحات فنية، في صمود وتحد وصبر عهدناه فيه.

قلوبنا ودعاؤنا مع الشيخ رائد صلاح حفظه الله ورعاه
د. إبراهيم حمّامي 14/07/2011

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It is reasonable to presume that the British Home Secretary issued the banning order following pressure from the Zionist lobby: as the request to ban Salah came from Mike Freer, M.P. for Hendon and Golders Green in North West London.

Theresa May should be challenged, if necessary under the Freedom of Information Act, to reveal what advice, if any, she took from the Foriegn & Commonwealth Office before issuing the banning order: and what that advice was.

I have a strong suspicion that the diplomats in the Middle East were ignored.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.