Birmingham protest at detention of Palestinian leader

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West Midland Palestine Solidarity Campaign call for release of Sheikh Raed Salah

MEMBERS of the West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign held a silent vigil in Birmingham city centre to mark the continued imprisonment of Sheikh Raed Salah, a prominent Palestinian politician visiting the United Kingdom.

He had been invited to attend a meeting in Birmingham on Thursday evening but was prevented from attending due to his detention at Bedford Prison while awaiting an appeal against a Deportation order made by the Home Secretary, Theresa May.

The Sheikh had been invited to the United Kingdom to attend a meeting in the Houses of Parliament on Peace and justice in Jerusalem on 29th June 2011. He was arrested on the orders of the Home Secretary before doing so. 

West Midlands PSC is calling for his immediate release from Prison and for the deportation order to be rescinded.

Mr Salah is the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, the largest movement for Palestinians in Israel. Israel has never moved to ban the organisation and Mr Saleh has spoken at a number of venues across Israel.

He has been elected as mayor of his hometown Um al-Fahm three times and has never been convicted of anti-Semitism in Israel.

Naeem Malik, Chair of West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: “The Sheikh is a legitimate and elected politician representing the views of Palestinians living within Israel. The Home Secretary has acted unjustly and has no reasonable grounds for seeking the Sheikh’s deportation. 

“He represents no threat to the people of Britain and should be immediately released. The Sheikh must be heard.”

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