Victory for Justice and Shaykh Raed Salah – Appeal Against Deportation Successful on All Grounds


Press Release


The Vice-President of the Upper Tribunal in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber has ruled that the Home Secretary’s attempts to deport Shaykh Raed Salah last year were unfounded. Shaykh Raed intended to visit the UK for a week and instead has spent the last 10 months here fighting to clear his name against false allegations made against him.

The Home Secretary was advised by pressure groups that Shaykh Raed be excluded from Britain on the grounds that he was an anti-Semite, and they provided flawed ‘evidences’ to back this up. However, on closer inspection of the materials, the appeal judge has ruled that there was no merit in the accusations levelled against him in relation to a supposedly anti-Semitic poem written by him. He noted that the advice the Secretary of State received from her own advisors was that the case against Shaykh Raed was ‘finely balanced’ and in the view of the judge, the incorrect translation of the poem written by Shaykh Raed tipped this balance in his favour. The judges further state, “Most importantly she was misled as to the terms of the poem written by the appellant, a matter on which there is no room for dispute”.

The judgment ruled that: “We have no difficulty in concluding that the Secretary of State’s decision has not been shown to be proportionate to the need to preserve community harmony or to protect the United Kingdom from the dangers to which the policy refers.” The judge held that the decision to deport Shaykh Raed was a ‘disproportionate interference’ with his rights.

The judgement contained a further damning statement: “There is no evidence that the danger perceived by the Secretary of State is perceived by any of the other countries where the appellant has been, nor, save for the very tardy indictment, is there any evidence that even Israel sees the danger that the Secretary of State sees.”

“This is a victory for those who believe in freedom of speech and who support the Palestinian struggle for freedom from occupation. Shaykh Raed speaks on behalf of millions of oppressed Palestinians and this is a victory for each and every one of them,” said Ismail Patel, Chair of Friends of Al-Aqsa.

“In summary, the appellant’s appeal against the decision to make a deportation order against him succeeds on all grounds”, stated the judges.

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