The Right Hon Phil Woolas, MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA.
Dear Mr. Woolas,
We are writing to express our concern at the treatment of Hicham Yezza (Home Office reference: Y76064) by your department. Hicham was arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 on May 14 and subsequently released without charge `on May 20 only to be re-arrested immediately for offences under the Immigration Act. A fast-track order for his removal (scheduled for June 1) was issued on May 22 but was eventually quashed after an international campaign led by thousands of his friends, colleagues and supporters led to the mounting of a successful legal challenge.
Hicham is an intellectual, writer, activist and artist who has been living in Nottingham since 1995. His roots within the student and local community are firmly established and his positive contributions to British society have been outstanding and unique. A brief example of his achievements include being a member of the University of Nottingham Senate, the Students’ Union Executive, the International Students’ Bureau General Secretary, a President of The Arabic Society, a leader of the Nottingham University Islamic Society and a founding member of the Nottingham Peace Movement.
We believe Hicham’s current persecution by the Home Office to be misguided and a grave injustice. He has, for many years, been at the forefront of the fight against extremism in all its forms and has succeeded through his academic, activist and charity work to be a force for good within his community. His current persecution is an unfortunate manner in which to treat someone who has given so much to our country. The fact that thousands of academics, politicians, artists, writers, community leaders, activists and concerned citizens have joined the international campaign in his support is a clear testament to his strong ties to the country and that he is an asset to Nottingham and to the United Kingdom.
We are concerned that so many hundreds of thousands of pounds of tax payers’ money are being spent trying to remove someone this government should be actively seeking to keep here. This is indicative of an immigration policy that is neither measured nor fair, and we urge you to do everything in your power to ensure Hicham’s case is dealt with swiftly and positively. This is even more crucial considering he is currently unable to return to his work at the University of Nottingham until his case is resolved, effectively putting him under completely unjust mental and financial pressures. Having already gone through the detention ordeal for 32 days Hicham, his family and his loved ones have suffered enough.
It is clear the national campaign in his support will continue in its efforts to highlight Hicham’s treatment and to fight for his right to stay here. We believe some sense should prevail and hope you will take the necessary steps to ensure the Home Office handles this matter in a sensible and productive way.
Removing Hicham is highly damaging for him, for his loved ones, for his friends, for his colleagues, for his community, and for Britain. We appeal to you to ensure this does not happen.