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Sheikh Raed Salah wins UK deportation appeal
April 8, 2012 22:16
UK tribunal: Islamic Movement leader's arrest unconstitutional, court issued deportation order without sufficient evidence.
Sheikh Raed Salah

Sheikh Raed Salah 311. (photo credit:Ben Hartman)

LONDON – Raed Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, has won an appeal against the British government after it tried to deport him.

On Saturday, the Upper Immigration Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) wrote to Salah informing him that Home Secretary Theresa May’s decision to detain him was “entirely unnecessary” and that his appeal had succeeded “on all grounds.”

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The court also said that his arrest was also unconstitutional, after Home Secretary May deemed that his presence in the UK was “not conducive to the public good.”

Salah, from Umm al-Fahm, has been in Britain since June, despite being banned from entering the country. He spoke at a number of anti-Israel events before being arrested on June 29.

He appealed the original deportation order and was granted bail in July, on a surety of $49,000, while he awaited the deportation hearing. In October, he lost his appeal against deportation and it was ruled that he would be deported “at the earliest opportunity.”

Earlier that month, the UK’s High Court ruled that Salah was held partially unlawfully in the UK, and was entitled to compensation.

Justice Ockelton, the senior immigration judge and president of the Upper Tribunal, said May “was misled” and that the court issued the deportation order without sufficient evidence.

He said that no evidence exists that any other countries where Salah has been, including Israel, perceive the danger that May did.

The Home Office said it was “disappointed” with the tribunal’s decision and intends to appeal, if possible, a spokesman said Sunday.

“The Tribunal had the facts before them and were able to look behind the misguided attempt to silence a prominent voice of the Palestinian people,” Salah’s lawyer Tayab Ali said.

He added that there are crucial questions still unanswered, and he put firm blame on the Community Security Trust, a charity that monitors anti-Semitism and provides security for the Jewish community.

“We need to understand how the secretary of state allowed herself to exercise such bad judgment and why she thought it was appropriate to rely so heavily on a single organization, the Community Security Trust, when making these decisions,” Ali said. “I hope that the secretary of state recognizes the mistakes that she has made and will now treat Sheikh Salah with the respect an important politician of his standing deserves."
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