UK politician denied Canadian visa

George Galloway refused entry to Canada on grounds he is a national security threat.

    Gallloway, left, travelled to Gaza last week to give aid to Palestinians after Israel's war [Gallo/Getty]
     

    In a comment piece published in the UK's Guardian newspaper on Saturday, Galloway described the ban as "absurd, hypocritical, and in vain" because his allies in the country were seeking a judicial review.

    "And there are other ways I can address those Canadians who wish to hear me," he wrote.

    "From coast to coast, minister Kenney notwithstanding, I will be heard - one way or another."

    The UK's Sun newspaper reported that Galloway was denied entry over his opposition to Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

    Security threat

    Velshi said Galloway was deemed inadmissible to Canada due to national security concerns.

    It was an "operational decision" by border security officials "based on a number of factors, not only those mentioned in the Sun piece," he said.

    "We're going to uphold the law, not give special treatment to a street-corner Cromwell who brags about giving 'financial support'
    to Hamas"

    Alykhan Velshi,
    Canadian immigration minister's spokesman

    Such a decision could be overturned by ministerial order, but it is not warranted in this case, he said.

    "We're going to uphold the law, not give special treatment to a street-corner Cromwell who brags about giving "financial support" to Hamas, a terrorist organisation banned in Canada," Velshi said.

    Olivia Chow, a politician from the Opposition New Democratic Party, however, accused the government of "censorship" for not allowing Galloway to speak.

    Denying him entry to this country is "an affront to freedom of speech" and shows the Canadian government "is frightened of an open debate on an unpopular war," she said in a statement on Friday.

    Last week, Galloway travelled to Gaza at the head of a humanitarian convoy.

    He praised the Palestinian "resistance" and condemned Israel's 22-day offensive launched in December, in which 1,300 Palestinians died.

    The British MP also donated thousands of dollars and dozens of vehicles to the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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