You are here

Dr Issam Hijjawi Bassalat is home

Dr Issam Hijjawi Bassalat was released on bail on Monday 13 December.

Sureties totalling £40,000 were provided - £20,000 from Richard Haley, £15,000 from Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) and £5,000 from Eurig Scandrett. Eurig is Chair of SPSC and is a senior lecturer at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

The funds were lodged at Laganside Courts in Belfast on Monday morning. Issam was eventually released at nearly 6.30 on Monday evening. He was met at the prison gate by Richard Haley and Julia Davidson, who accompanied him back to his home in Edinburgh. They were required to keep police updated about their travel arrangements. A pleasant journey was enjoyed by all, despite the night-time travel and occasional phone chats with the police.

On Tuesday Issam was acquitted in Edinburgh Sheriff Court of a separate charge under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 relating to a stop-and-question incident at Edinburgh airport in early 2020. He was represented in court by Ryan Sloan of Aamer Anwar & Co Solicitors.

Issam met his children on Tuesday evening - the first time he has been able to meet them in person for 16 months.

Issam is now living under stringent bail conditions that include a requirement to sign in twice a day at a nearby police station, a 10pm-7am curfew, and a requirement to present himself at his door during curfew hours if required to do so by police. Despite the severity of the conditions, his situation is a great improvement on incarceration in Maghaberry Prison, where his health and life were at risk. He is now determined to fight on to clear his name.

Issam would like to thank everyone around the world who has helped him to reach this point, whether by writing supportive letters to the court, standing surety, or by helping to spread word about his case. International support has been particularly valuable and will continue to be crucial as the legal fight-back continues.