Terror deportation: Lecturers petition home secretary

    The University and College Union (UCU) today protested to the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, against the deportation of a Nottingham University administrator caught up in a police investigation of terrorist literature. Hicham Yezza, who was working as an administrator at the university, was arrested for printing out a copy of the widely available al-Qaida training manual for his friend, Rizwaan Sabir. He was re-arrested on immigration grounds after his release from custody and is due to be deported to Algeria on June 1. Sabir, 22, was arrested and detained under the Terrorism Act for six days after downloading al-Qaida-related material for his research into terrorist tactics. His university supervisors have insisted the materials were directly relevant to his research. Sally Hunt, general secretary of UCU, said Yezza had no involvement in activity that threatened public safety and was being denied a fair trial. She said he lived in the UK for 13 years, studied for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and had been planning to take his annual trip to the Hay festival when he was arrested. Earlier the lecturers’ union conference in Manchester heard that university staff were censoring their own work because of the climate of fear on campus created by the government’s anti-terrorism agenda. Anthea Lipsett reports.

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