We are delighted to announce the release of Ceasefire 2009, a special 68-page limited edition edited by Hich Yezza in Cell 213, HMP Canterbury.
Articles include: ‘Facebook: why it should be obliterated’, a 15-page special on Israel and Palestine in 2009, Hich Yezza on ‘Philip Roth: how good is he?’, ‘Africa, racism and the West’, ‘Techno activism‘, reviews of Animal Collective, Mongrel and A Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra … and much, much more.
To coincide with the release of this special issue, we’ve added a brand new online ordering feature to the website: http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/order/.
You can pay using Paypal or debit/credit card and with a couple of clicks, you can have the latest issue of Ceasefire on its way direct to your door.
Thanks to everyone for your fantastic support and hard work in getting this issue made. As a magazine which receives no government or corporate advertising, Ceasefire only exists because people are willing to sustain it. We hope you’ll buy the magazine and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
The Ceasefire team
PS. – To celebrate the launch of this special issue, an event in Nottingham in the next few weeks is being planned, featuring prominent writers, politicians, activists and musicians. More details will be available soon – watch this space!
We are delighted to report that at 9pm yesterday evening, Hicham was released from HMP High Down after more than 5 months in prison.
Full details will be available in the next few days.
Hich has been moved to HMP High Down Lane in Surrey.
Please write to him at: XP9266, HMP High Down Lane, Sutton, Surrey, United Kingdom, SM2 5PJ.
The ‘emailaprisoner’ service is not available at this prison.
The NUS Black Students’ Campaign, which represents all UK students of African, Asian and Arab descent, has passed a motion at its Summer Conference (16-17 May) pledging to continue to support the Free Hich campaign and academic freedom. The NUS Black Students’ Campaign constitutes almost one million students, or one-fifth of the NUS membership, and is the largest organisation of its kind in Europe. Hicham spoke about his arrest at the NUS Black Students’ Campaign Winter Conference in November, and his case was highlighted a number of times at the May 2009 conference as an example of institutionalised racism and Islamophobia in British universities.
The motion stated that: “Conference believes that the attempt to deport ten Pakistani students under immigration laws, and other international students like Hicham Yezza, after government blunders, is immoral and unjustified … Conference resolves to:
1. Support students who have been unfairly targeted for deportation
2. Fully support the ‘Free Hicham’ campaign
3. Work with organisations like Liberty … “
Craig Murray, former British Ambassador, writes:
Yezza has now been jailed for nine months for “securing avoidance of enforcement action by deceptive means”. As he was working and studying at Nottingham University under his own name, the deception is not apparent. But a formal jail sentence for an illegal immigrant in this country is extremely unusual. Yezza was not part of the criminal underworld and if he had applied properly his immigration status would in all probability have been able to be regularised. It is very hard to believe the judge was not motivated by the original slur of terrorism. This must go down as yet another striking example of Islamophobia in this country.
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Peter Tatchell writes in The Guardian:
After living an exemplary life in the UK for 14 years, Nottingham University staff member Hicham Yezza was arrested on unfounded terrorism charges and now faces the prospect of being forcibly removed to his homeland of Algeria – terminating his successful, commendable life in the UK and tearing him from his dearest friends and loved ones.
Yezza is another innocent victim of the so-called “war on terror”. Critics fear that having failed to nail him as a terrorist, the Home Office now wants to get Yezza out of the country using immigration law, to shut down the adverse publicity about his mistreatment and thwart a possible future inquiry into official misconduct. [Read more →]
March 15th, 2009 · 1 Comment
Many thanks to each and every one of you for your continued support for this campaign: it is without a doubt the only reason Hicham has been able to fight for justice for so long.
On Friday 6 March, Hicham was sentenced to a nine-month custodial sentence after being convicted of ‘securing avoidance of enforcement action via deceptive means’. He is currently being held at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes. As Hicham’s legal team are launching an appeal against the conviction we cannot make any further comment yet but we promise we’ll get more details to you as soon as we can.
There are three important things you can do to help Hich:
1) Please write to Hich!
Letters been keeping Hicham’s spirits high. Please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your letter so that Hich can reply. Try and write more than once if you can. Even if you don’t know Hich, a few words in a letter can make a big difference.
Write to: Hicham Yezza, XP9266, HMP Canterbury, 46 Longport, Canterbury, Kent United Kingdom, CT1 1PJ.
If you can’t post a letter, you can write to Hicham via: http://www.emailaprisoner.com/, which costs 25p per message. Bear in mind that this method is less reliable than post and messages can take longer to reach Hicham.
2) Do you know Hich personally and have you been involved in society/community activities with him?
You might be able to help Hich’s legal case. Please email musabz [at] gmail [dot] com for more details.
3) Donate to the legal fund.
There is still a backlog of legal funds which needs to be paid. Thanks to everyone for their help so far – Hicham has not been permitted to work since May 2008 and all donations have made a huge difference.
The best way to donate is via an online bank transfer to the campaign fund account.
Sort Code: 400205
Account Number: 81474715
IBAN number: gb44midl40020581474715
International Swift Code: midlgb2140c
If you can’t use online banking, you can transfer money via paypal. Just send your payments to the email address:
hich.yezza [at] gmail [dot] com
Best wishes and thank you for your support,
The Free Hicham Campaign
Thanks to everyone for the considerable and unstinting support they have given to the Free Hich campaign from the start. It is only due to the help and support of thousands of people that Hicham has been able to fight for justice for so long.
As many of you may know, Hich lost his case against the Home Office at Northampton Crown Court on Thursday 12th February. The charge is “securing avoidance of immigration control using deception” and comes under the Immigration Act. The sentencing will take place on March 6th. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 2 years in jail.
We are obviously saddened and disappointed at the outcome, especially considering how hard Hich and the campaign have fought for him to have his day in court. Despite this setback, Hicham’s spirits remain high. His legal team is now considering the various options on offer and we will therefore be releasing a full statement in the coming few days.
Peter Tatchell, one of the UK’s most prominent civil liberties commentators has written a piece about Hicham’s persecution in today’s Guardian. Please read it and add your comments.
Last week, the Guardian published a piece by Hicham on the subject of the student occupation movement.
In the meantime, your continued support is crucial to ensure Hicham is treated fairly and any attempts to deport him are resisted. Please continue to visit this website for updates and invite your friends to join the Facebook groups.
Welcome to the Free Hicham campaign website, please take a few moments to read the “About” section and also the “How to help: Nine ways to help Hich” page.
As many of you know, Hich refused the offer to have all charges dropped against him in exchange for leaving the country quietly but he needs our help to ensure his legal case is fought properly.
We are grateful to the thousands of people who have already joined the ranks of the campaign, your donations, legal advice, letters, emails and good wishes have already made a difference.
We hope our support will ensure Hich’s contributions to the community and the UK are acknowledged. Please continue to visit the website for updates on the case.
The Free Hich campaign
Crackdowns on a resurgence in activism highlight universities’ transformation into businesses selling employable students
“Over the past four weeks, the UK student community has been witnessing an unprecedented political awakening not seen since the anti-apartheid protests of the 80s, and yet you would be forgiven for being completely oblivious to it. Coverage in the media has been sporadic and muted at best, mostly confined to a few orphan stories in local outlets and a couple of notices in the broadsheets.”
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