back to the SchNEWS Home PageON THE VERGE - The Smash EDO Campaign Film
subscribe to receive SchNEWS every week by emailView any SchNEWS back issuesFind out about SchNEWSSearch for contacts and linksVarious guides on how to do direct action etcDetails of previous hot topicsSchMOVIEWS - Short films produced by SchNEWS
The weekly newsletter from Justice? - Brighton's direct action collective

Issue 634 Articles:

Academic Freedom

Full Report: SmashEDO Carnival

Marie Vesco RIP

Guinea Pigged



A La Dust Carte

Socpa Pitch

Wild West Bank-Job: Israel at 60

Wheels of Fire

Whale of a Crime

Cull to Arms


Home | Friday 6th June 2008 | Issue 634

Back to the Full Issue




The story of the two Nottingham Uni students who were arrested on bogus terror charges two weeks ago has turned into a victimisation campaign against one of the arrestees. Hicham Yezza, one of two men arrested for downloading information about Al Qaeda from a US government website, is currently languishing in the Dover Immigration Removal Centre, where he is being threatened with deportation to Algeria. Originally he was booked on a BA flight on Sunday the 31st, before he had a chance to launch an appeal or work on a defence for himself. It was only when the students and staff at Notts Uni launched a full scale campaign for his release that the deportation order was delayed (one day before his deportation date).

Once Hich’s six day stint of interrogation under Terrorism laws was over, he was promptly re-arrested by immigration officials, accusing him of living and working illegally in the UK. Despite the fact that he’s been here, living, working & studying here for 13 years. And he hasn’t really kept a low profile, much of this time working as a magazine editor and popular on-campus activist.

A large part of Hich’s initial interrogation at the hands of anti-terror cops concerned his involvement with the Nottingham students’ peace magazine ‘Ceasefire.’ Cops are notoriously devoid of irony, otherwise it might have occurred to them to question the rationale behind busting peaceniks for terrorism. Police questioned Hich and his co-arrestee Riswan in detail about the funding for the mag (no doubt straight from Bin Laden’s Jihadi billions).

The cops have excelled at dubious and underhand methods. Confiscating 20 computers from the uni, they told the press that they extended the pair’s detentions because they had ‘further potential evidence.’ With the implication that there was something on the pair, what this meant in reality was that they hadn’t got the staff to search through all the computers.

It was the university staff that dobbed Hich in. Being the kind of guy who would go out of his way to help a mate, he offered to print out the (US government approved) Al Qaeda training manual because his friend Riswan hadn’t got enough credit on his university printing card.

Having initially stitched them up, Notts Uni have bent over backwards to help the police and repress freedom of speech on campus. A statement from the uni said that the AQ manual is ‘contentious,’ and ‘sensitive,’ and that only approved academics and students should have access to it. The idea that information that is legally and freely available should be restricted on campus seems to fly in the face of the traditional role of universities as places that encourage academic freedoms. (Fortunately, given the shitstorm that this case has produced, that doesn’t seem likely).

The Free Hich campaign isn’t planning on going away once they’ve have secured their man’s release. They’re already widening its scope to to become a broad-based civil liberties and anti-deportation campaign. Even as they campaign for Hich another Nottingham campaigner has been targeted by immigration authorities. Amdani Juma, a Burundian HIV-AIDS campaigner who has been involved in the free Hich campaign was picked up two days after he made an appearance at the free Hich demo on the 28th of May.

Hich’s case has turned into a ‘perfect storm’ of the state’s use of anti-terror and immigration laws used to repress a dedicated peace activist and critical writer. Many inside the campaign claim that Hich’s detention under immigration law is a last gasp attempt to claw back something after the terror arrests turned out to be nothing of the sort. However, whilst shying away from any suggestion of shapeshifting paedophile lizards (out of fear probably) us at SchNEWS sense the hand of conspiracy against an effective and popular critic of the Neo-Con/Neo-Labour ruling ideology.




Subscribe to SchNEWS: Send 1st Class stamps (e.g. 10 for next 9 issues) or donations (payable to Justice?). Or £15 for a year's subscription, or the SchNEWS supporter's rate, £1 a week. Ask for "originals" if you plan to copy and distribute. SchNEWS is post-free to prisoners.


SchNEWS, c/o Community Base, 113 Queens Rd, Brighton, BN1 3XG, England
Phone: +44 (0)1273 685913

@nti copyright - information for action - copy and distribute!