Palestinian leader wins UK deportation appeal

British immigration tribunal rules in favour of Sheikh Raed Salah in appeal against government's deportation order.

    Salah's initial detention in July 2011 had been found illegal by a UK court last year [EPA]
    Salah's initial detention in July 2011 had been found illegal by a UK court last year [EPA]

    Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, has won an appeal against his deportation from Britain, according to the group that invited him to the country.

    Mark Ockelton, the vice-president of the UK's Upper Immigration Tribunal, ruled that the government's decision to deport Salah "appears to have been entirely unnecesary", and upheld his deportation appeal, a statement from the Middle East Monitor (MEMO) said on Saturday.

    An earlier judgment awarded Salah "damages for wrongful detention" when the Palestinian activist, a citizen of Israel, was arrested outside his London hotel on June 28 last year.

    Salah had been in the country on a speaking tour, and stayed on to fight legal cases and appeals against his detention and deportation orders.

    Theresa May, the British home secretary, had ordered the arrest and Salah's deportation.

    According to MEMO, Salah now plans on returning to Israel.

    Previous detentions

    The Islamist leader was arrested in London on a ten-day trip to Britain, during which he intended to speak at several events, including a meeting at the House of Commons, the lower house of the parliament of the UK.

    He was finally granted bail on July 18 under strict conditions, including that he wear an electronic tag, observe a night-time curfew, report daily to immigration officials and refrain from any public speaking.

    The Islamic Movement in Israel is often subjected to surveillance and harassment.

    Salah has been detained by Israel on multiple occasions, including most recently at the border with Jordan after allegedly fighting with a soldier during an interrogation. Civilians are often interrogated by Israeli border soldiers.

    In 2010, he spent five months behind bars for allegedly spitting at an Israeli policeman.

    The father of eight was also held after taking part in the Gaza-bound aid flotilla that Israeli naval commandos stormed on May 31, 2010, killing nine activists in a deadly assault.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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