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Sheikh Raed Salah's supporters hold vigil in Whitehall

January 31, 2014 at 12:49 am


Imams, rabbis, people of other faiths and non-faith gathered together outside Downing Street in solidarity with the influential Palestinian leader on Monday 4th July. The silent vigil was organised by various organisations including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign [PSC] and Friends of Al Aqsa [FoA] who have been spearheading the campaign, together with the Middle East Monitor [MEMO], to have Sheikh Raed Salah released. Sheikh Raed has been held in detention since Tuesday 28th June after an alleged exclusion order had been signed by the Home Office Secretary, Theresa May.

The crowd carried placards of support, with statements such as “We are all Raed Salah” and “No for Double Standards”. Others had taped onto their mouths the words, “Britain’s First Palestinian Political Prisoner” to show their dismay at the lack of freedom of speech and double standards attached to those speaking out against Israel.

There was, in attendance, a contingency from the highly respected Neturei Karta organisation, with several of the Rabbis holding their very own posters of support stating: “Sheikh Raed Salah has always expressed his brotherhood with the Jewish people –Please Release!”

Also in attendance were journalist and author, Victoria Brittain; Bruce Kent, Vice President of Pax Christi and MP for Islington North, Jeremy Corbyn who later commented:

“Well done! Good crowd for turning up here opposite Downing Street tonight to show their support for free speech in this country and their support for Sheikh Raed Salah’s right to be in this country and right to speak to audiences in an open way. I’m disgusted with what the British government has done, disgusted that he is still in prison, pleased at last he has got a legal visit tomorrow morning, hopefully he’ll be out soon and can continue his visit. That’s my aim and I’ve raised it several times in parliament and will continue to do so. And thank you very much to MEMO for inviting him here and having the courage to stick with the invitation. There’s no way that we are going to make progress unless all Palestinian opinions are heard in this country as well as in the wider world.”