When no charges could be brought both were released, but Hicham was rearrested. Since then he has been facing deportation. He has not been permitted to work and is currently serving a prison sentence for 'avoidance of immigration action'. The sentence is being vigorously appealed: we believe not only that Hicham is completely and emphatically innocent, but that the prosecution was political from the start.
It has now become clear that the government has a political policy of automatically deporting foreign nationals who are wrongfully arrested under the Terrorism Act. This is a gross perversion of the laws of immigration and due process.
Attempts to deport those who have been subject to botched-up terror arrests seem to be becoming commonplace. The Free Hich campaign extends its solidarity to the 12 innocent men living in the North West of England who were arrested under terrorism laws and are now also facing deportation.
We are extremely concerned with the callous and barbaric way our government is dealing with foreign nationals. We call on our fellow citizens to recognise the severity of the current situation in the UK.
We call on people to come to the aid of anyone who becomes subject to arbitrary deportation and politicised detention without trial. We believe that allowing the situation in the country to proceed as it is will be extremely dangerous for the future of human rights and civil liberties. We ask everyone to join us in supporting the 12 men facing deportation, as well as supporting Hicham Yezza, who has been fighting a virtually identical deportation since May 2008.
Please join us by taking whatever action you can on the anniversary of Hich’s arrest. We need to highlight the injustice and exert pressure for his release before it is too late.