Mouloud Sihali - a draft dodger wrongly accused of terrorism

Mouloud Sihali's appeal against deportation will be heard by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission on Tuesday, March 27th.

He has already been acquitted of terrorism charges by a British court. Yet he faces deportation as someone whose presence in Britain 'is not conducive to the public good' – effectively a threat to send him back to Algeria with a 'terrorist' label round his neck.

He is not allowed to know all the 'evidence'against him. SIAC accepts some evidence which is secret even from the defendant.

He has been in prison or under partial house arrest since September 2005 waiting for this hearing. Yet the evidence he has been told about is substantially the same as what the jury rejected in his original trial. The Law Lords ruled that anti-terrorist 'internment'was against human rights law. But internment `pending deportation’ still goes on under immigration law.

There will be a protest outside SIAC (Breams Buildings, a street off Chancery Lane, Holborn, London) from 9.30-10.30am and 1.00 - 2.00 pm on 27th March.

Background

  • Mouloud Sihali left Algeria in 1997 to avoid doing military service in an army often ordered to attack fellow-citizens
  • In September 2002 he was arrested in connection with the so-called "ricin plot" to make poison
  • In March 2005, after two and a half years in custody, Mouloud and two other defendants were acquitted of involvement in the plot and charges dropped against four others
  • Mouloud was re-arrested in September 2005 and threatened with deportation as a 'danger to national security'.
  • After his re-arrest, Mouloud spent another four months in prison .without charge.
  • Since January 2006 he has been on bail under partial house arrest; allowed out only 8 hours a day, he must report daily to the police. He is permitted no visitors unless they are approved in advance by the Home Office. He is tagged and banned from using the internet or mobile phones. He can go out only within a small area defined by boundaries marked on a map – even to visit a hospital in another part of London he must get special permission.
  • Even if SIAC refuse the case for deportation it can still be re-started any time and he might be under a control order indefinitely.
  • Mouloud is one of several detainees, some still in jail, waiting for SIAC to hear their appeals against deportation as 'terrorist suspects'- and like him, not allowed to know all the evidence against them.

Mouloud says:-

"I ran away from military service because I don't want to kill or to get killed if I refuse to kill. Many people from Algeria did the same. I came to Britain under an assumed identity and worked here as an illegal migrant. I didn't want to claim asylum at that time, because many conscientious objectors got their asylum claims refused, and then when they returned to Algeria they spent two years in jail and then had to do their military service anyway – in the hardest places. I did not claim asylum until 2003, and then because the Home Office encouraged me to start a claim whilst I was in prison.

They won't find any information about me and Al Qaida, or me being involved in any form of support for or training for terrorism anywhere in the world. I just want to clear my name.

My entire life is ruined. My name is all over the internet. I lost my friends; nobody wants to come to visit me because nobody wants to become a suspected terrorist."