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Arrest of Sheikh Raeed Salaah in London

Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Media Review Network (MRN) is appalled and disgusted at the reprehensible actions of the British authorities to arrest Sheikh Raeed Salaah, leader of the “Islamic Movement in Palestine 48”. The MRN condemns this mockery of the British judicial system which seeks to persecute people of the calibre of Sheikh Raeed Salaah.

Sheikh Raeed arrived in London on Saturday 25th June 2011, using his Israeli Passport to enter Britain legally, as he had done on many occasions previously. He was not questioned by the British Border Authorities nor was there any indication that he was on the exclusion list.

After completing part of his planned itinerary, during which time he spoke at various large gatherings, he was arrested on Tuesday 28 June 2011 at 11pm. On the evening of June 29, he was scheduled to address the British House of Commons. The British police took him into custody before he could do so.

Sheikh Salaah was well known for his tireless and peaceful protests against the Zionist occupation of Palestine. He instituted social, educational and humanitarian projects for the Palestinians under occupation. He hoped to achieve self-development and economic independence for the Palestinians from this occupation. He launched mass campaigns against Israel’s attacks on Muslim and Christian Holy sites.

He has been arrested on many occasions by Israeli authorities. Now the British government is acting in the same way. The fact that the British Government did not bother to inform the Organisers of the Sheikh’s lecture tour of their intentions, shows its willingness to act with impunity against its own citizens and to treat them with utter disregard and contempt.

The arrest and impending deportation of Sheikh Raeed Salaah is irregular and an affront to the civil liberties of the British people as well as visitors to the United Kingdom. Being, supposedly, a bastion of democracy in the western world, the Government of David Cameron should allow for freedom of expression to prevail and show confidence in the maturity of the British people to decide on where the truth lies, or does truth and justice mean little to the British people?

Issued By:

Ibrahim Vawda

Senior Researcher – Media Review Network

Tel: 012 374 6987

Cell: 072 295 0088