30 May, 2008

A Worthy Cause

I'm afraid I'm no expert, I shall have to cut and paste, but this is a worthy cause and deserves support:

Stop The Deportation Of Hicham Yezza!

(from facebook group)

Hicham Yezza, a popular, respected and valued former PhD student and current employee of the University of Nottingham faces deportation to Algeria on Sunday 1st June. That's NEXT SUNDAY.
This follows his unjust arrest under the Terrorism Act 2000 on Wednesday 14th May alongside Rizwaan Sabir and their release without charge six days later.

On his release Hicham was re-arrested under immigration legislation and, due to confusion over his visa documentation, charged with offences relating to his immigration status. He sought legal advice and representation over these matters whilst in custody. On Friday 23rd May, he was suddenly served with a deportation notice and moved to an immigration detention centre. The deportation is being urgently appealed. Hich maintains he will be able to sucessfully fight deportation in the courts.

Hicham has been resident in the U.K. for 13 years, during which time he has studied for both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Nottingham. He is an active member of debating societies, a prominent member of an arts and theatre group, and has been writing editorials for the Student Peace Movement magazine for the last five years. He is well known and popular on campus amongst the university community and has established himself as a voracious reader and an authority on literature and music. An application for British citizenship was underway, and he had been planning to make his yearly trip to Wales for the Hay Festival when he was suddenly arrested.
There's more information at http://freehichamyezza.wordpress.com/ which has information as to how you can help. But if you've only a limited amount of time and still want to do something, please do the following:

1. Sign the e-petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/freehich/ this is FREE (despite the conspicuous donation ad) and will take a minute MAX.

2. Send an e-mail to home secretary Jacqui Smith at the home office informing her of your support of Hicham's case and asking her to stop the deportation of this man who is being dealt with without trial. A template and e-mail address are available at http://freehichamyezza.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/model-letter-to-the-home-office/.

There's an awful lot to this, none of which I can claim to totally understand. A complex set of worrying implications for academic freedom and right to due process. But I cannot explain these. All I would hope is that Hicham gets an opportunity to defend himself in court before anyone can eject him from the country he's lived in for 13 years.

Thanks for any time you can give.

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