Banned activist Raed Salah wins in detention case

30 September 2011 Last updated at 16:27 GMT | BBC

Sheikh Raed Salah
Sheikh Raed Salah challenged Theresa May’s decision to detain him

A pro-Palestinian activist can claim damages after the High Court ruled he had been wrongfully detained on the orders of Home Secretary Theresa May.

The court said the Home office failed to give reasons for the Sheikh Raed Salah’s arrest for two days.

The Home Office launched an inquiry into how he entered the UK earlier this year, despite an apparent ban.

Critics say Sheikh Salah is anti-Semitic, a charge he has denied.

The Israeli citizen arrived in the UK in June, planning to attend a number of public events and other meetings with pro-Palestinian campaigners. One of the meetings was at the Houses of Parliament.

But three days later immigration officers detained him at his hotel in London. They handcuffed him and he was eventually taken to a police station, before being held in immigration detention for 21 days. He later won an application to be released on bail.

Mr Justice Nicol said that although the Home Office had not broken the rules over its reasons for the activist’s detention, the detention had been conducted incorrectly.

He said: “I have rejected the claimant’s case that his detention was unlawful because it conflicted with the statutory purpose or the Secretary of State’s policy on detention.

“I have accepted his argument that he was not given proper and sufficient reasons for his arrest on June 28 nor was he given them until some time on June 30. He is entitled to damages for wrongful detention during that period.”

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