Banned Sheikh Salah was wrongfully arrested

By Jennifer Lipman, October 3, 2011
Raed Salah

Raed Salah

An Islamic political activist who entered Britain despite a Home Office ban and was arrested has won damages for wrongful detention.

The High Court said that Sheikh Raed Salah, who was detained in London in June, should have been told in Arabic the reason for his arrest. But it was only a partial victory as the court said the rest of his detention was lawful.

Sheikh Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, had been accused of having a "history of virulent antisemitism" when he was excluded.

Mr Justice Nicol said he "accepted his argument that he was not given proper and sufficient reasons for his arrest" and said Sheikh Salah was entitled to damages. But the Home Office said Sheikh Salah had won only on a technicality.

A spokesman for Home Secretary Theresa May said: "We are pleased that the court has found that [she] used her powers correctly when detaining Sheikh Salah. The decision [she] took was the right one."

Sheikh Salah is still expected to appeal against his deportation.

Last updated: 10:39am, October 3 2011