Don't stop me now

IssueApril 2009
News by Kathy Laluk

Last month, a Qatari ex-Guantanamo prisoner, a Palestinian human rights leader, a Lebanese newspaper editor and a British MP were all prevented from entering other countries.

Jarullah al-Marri, who was released from Guantanamo last year after seven years’ imprisonment, was detained at Heathrow, ostensibly because he failed to notify the government of his time in Guantanamo.

Al-Marri, who was planning to attend a reunion of ex-Guantanamo prisoners, was instead extradited to the US, where he faces charges of conspiracy and providing material support to terror. Shawan Jabarin, general director of Palestinian human rights group al-Haq, was not permitted by the Israeli Supreme Court to fly to the Netherlands to accept the Beggars’ Medal, awarded annually to those fighting dictatorship and discrimination. Ibrahim Moussawi, editor of the Hezbollah-linked newspaper Al-Intiqad, was refused a visa by Jacqui Smith, the British home secretary, on 12 March on the grounds that his presence in Britain would not be “conducive to the public good”.

Moussawi had been set to give a speech on “political Islam”, specifically Hezbollah’s history, strategy and ideology, at the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University. He has twice been granted permission to enter Britain to speak in the past, and was also awarded a PhD in political Islam from Birmingham University in 2007. The home office refused to comment on the decision.

Last but not least, on 20 March, British MP George Galloway was denied entrance to Canada, (where he was due to give a speech). He was “inadmissible on national security grounds” because of his alleged support for the Palestinian group Hamas, according to a Canadian spokesperson.

Topics: Human rights