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Press Release: High Court rules Raed Salah is 'entitled to damages for wrongful detention'

Middle East Monitor

30sheikh-raed-salah2.jpg

September 30, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


High Court rules Raed Salah is 'entitled to damages for wrongful detention'

The Middle East Monitor (MEMO) welcomes the High Court ruling that the British government's detention of Sheikh Raed Salah was illegal during the early part of his detention and that he is entitled to damages during that period.

After wrongfully detaining the Palestinian leader, the Home Secretary unsuccessfully tried to deny him bail. Sheikh Salah successfully applied for and was granted bail by Mr. Justice Stadlen in the High Court in July. Today's ruling compounds the misguided approach taken towards Sheikh Salah by the British government.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Nicol, granted the leader of the Islamic Movement permission to appeal endorsing the view that Sheikh Salah was right to demand a judicial review into the legality of his detention. Whilst refusing the judicial review on the grounds of policy and legal purpose the Judge ruled that Sheikh Salah was illegally detained and 'entitled to damages for wrongful detention'.

MEMO's director, Dr Daud Abdullah said, 'this important judgment sends a clear message to the political authorities; that the British legal system must not be used as an instrument to suppress fundamental rights and free speech.'

Sheikh Salah's solicitor Tayab Ali said 'We welcome the Court's finding that Sheikh Salah was wrongfully detained and that he should be compensated for that. We are however disappointed that the Judge refused the judicial review in respect of the statutory purpose and policy. This is a worrying first step towards a policy of preventative detention for acts that have not even been contemplated yet'.

Sheikh Raed Salah was arrested from his hotel on 28th June, the night before he spoke in parliament on the subject of Jerusalem. The Israeli lobby in the UK strenuously petitioned the government to do anything 'to prevent him from attending'. Emails disclosed in Court have revealed that the Home Secretary took just 17 minutes to decide to prevent Sheikh Salah attending and speaking in parliament in response to an unverified and inaccurate advice from the Community Security Trust.

The finding that Sheikh Salah was illegally detained illustrates the careless manner in which the British government dealt with an important and respected leader of the Palestinian movement.

Dr Abdullah said, 'this vindication of Sheikh Raed means he can in future hold his head high with pride; knowing that two High Court Judges in Britain were willing to correct serious wrongs done against him.'

Sheikh Raed Salah is resolute in his determination to correct the allegations made against him and will now focus his appeal to overturn the deportation order in the First Tier Immigration Tribunal.

Clearly proceedings to date should show the Conservative-led government that it has to act with responsibility and properly verify allegations before it yields to political lobbies set to improperly use the British government for its own political agenda.


Source


:: Article nr. 81933 sent on 01-oct-2011 22:06 ECT

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