Salah bailed, pending deportation hearing

Raed Salah

Raed Salah

Islamic political activist Raed Salah, detained last month after allegedly flouting a ban to enter Britain, has been granted bail while he awaits a deportation hearing.

Sheikh Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was arrested in London the day before he was due to share a platform with MPs in the House of Commons.

On Friday, a High Court judge agreed to his application for bail. He will be released with conditions including restrictions on him speaking in public.

Defending, Raza Husain said Sheikh Salah “categorically denied” all the allegations made against him, including the suggestion that he had links to Hamas or had made antisemitic remarks.

Mr Husain said there was evidence that his client was a “peaceful campaigner for Palestinian rights” and a “serious political figure in Israel”.

He questioned the translation of comments Sheikh Salah had made in Arabic to Israeli newspapers Ha’aretz and the Jerusalem Post.

Mr Husain also said his client had visited Britain on four occasions since 1997 without his presence being questioned.

The court heard testimonials from Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Tonge, who described Sheikh Salah as a “calm and thoughtful man worth listening to”, and from Labour peer Lord Ahmed.

Dozens of Sheikh Salah’s supporters attended the High Court hearing.

Sheikh Salah is expected to be released from HMP Bedford in the coming days.

Last updated: 4:47pm, July 15 2011