Two arrested at U of Nottingham

Monitoring UK 'terror' raids and trials.

Two arrested at U of Nottingham

Joined: 04 Dec 2005, 17:55

15 May 2008, 20:47 #1

Two men in campus terror arrest
Page last updated at 19:29 GMT, Thursday, 15 May 2008 20:29 UK

Two men have been arrested at the University of Nottingham campus under the Terrorism Act, police have said.

Police said the men, aged 30 and 22, were arrested on Wednesday morning. One is reported to be a student and the other a former student.

They are being questioned while premises connected to them, including campus property, were searched.

Police said it was a joint operation between Nottinghamshire Police and the Midlands counter-terrorist unit.

Supt Simon Nickless from Nottinghamshire Police said officers had been working alongside community representatives to "offer support and reassurance".

He said the community's response had been "calm and rational" to the operation, described as "low-key".

Full co-operation

"Feedback is that people accept that this is the sort of operation that is necessary and reasonable for the welfare of communities," said Supt Nickless.

A uniformed presence is in place at the main Trent building, which houses the schools of English, modern languages and philosophy as well as management offices.

Jonathan Ray, a spokesman for the university, said the institution "has been co-operating fully from the outset throughout this inquiry".

He went on: "Nottinghamshire Police have stressed that there is no risk to the university community or to the wider public.

"Here, at the institution, we fully accept that this sort of police operation is necessary and reasonable for the welfare of our communities."
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Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

21 May 2008, 19:23 #2

I grabbed this off U75:
A 22 year-old student and a 30 year-old postgraduate member of staff were arrested on Wednesday of last week under terrorism legislation. They were held for 7 days without charge and released this Tuesday having been cleared of all offences.

Their original arrest was caused by the accusation from the university that they had been involved in accessing 'radical material', yet it appears that the material in question is readily accessible on the internet and directly relevant to the students studies.

Those involved might have put the whole thing down to experience were it not for the context. Recent years have seen a steady stream of political protests on campus on issues ranging from Starbucks to the war in Iraq. All have passed off peacefully, yet earlier this year the police were called to deal with a protest by the Palestinian Society where they erected a mock wall, in reference to the wall in Israel/Palestine.

At this protest a passer-by was arrested for disagreeing with the police about how they had responded to the protest. You can see the arrest towards the end of the following you tube clip: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=uZLwtit8GXM

This unprecedented arrest sparked a Freedom of Speech campaign at the campus which saw widespread support. The assumption was always that people in the administration may not have liked this, but they were notable by their silence and it was assumed that the point had been well made.

The terror arrests throw this all up in the air though. The two arrested are well known as being involved in political campaigning on campus and the idea of them being involved in terrorist activity was seen by anyone who knew them as ludicrous. The feeling was that the university was almost certainly aware of the ridiculousness of the accusations as well.

One of the university's press statements seems to point towards what may have been happening.
“The University works closely with the Students’ Union to promote dialogue, understanding and respect between student societies and is proactive in meeting regularly with representatives of key cultural groups. We also work closely with chaplains and faith groups, not only to meet the needs of students from particular faiths, but also to balance the interests of particular cultural or religious groups with those of the wider campus community. Where individual or group action unsettles the harmony of the campus, the University is committed to working through established channels to reinforce the values and standards that underpin a diverse and tolerant environment.”
The implication seems to be that the University has been 'working through established channels' (i.e. calling the police up and alleging acts of terrorism) to deal with individuals unsettling the 'harmony of the campus' (i.e. protesting about international issues).

All sounds perfectly fine doesn't it?

By 1500 both detainees had been released with all charges dropped, however, the younger student was re-arrested on immigration grounds. That's a student who had been happily studying at the University all year now discovered to have uncertain immigration status.

If you are at all disturbed by these events, please feel free to email the Vice Chancellor at vice-chancellor@nottingham.ac.uk who will give a full explanation of exactly what is happening.

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http://www.urban75.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=250990
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006, 15:26

25 May 2008, 07:35 #3

Lenins Tomb

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Arrested for Excessive Diligence posted by lenin

A number of people have brought this shocking story to my attention. An MA student at the University of Nottingham named Rizwaan Sabir and a 30 year old clerical staff member, Hisham Yezza, were arrested by armed* police under the Terrorism Act 2000, and held for six days without charge. The student downloaded a supposed 'Al Qaeda' training manual from a US government website as part of his dissertation on 'Islamic extremism'. I will just mention that there is some doubt as to the document's provenance, which is proliferating in different variations all over the internet. Rizwaan forwarded it to a friend in the Department of Engineering for printing because he couldn't afford the printing costs (1,500 pages at what I guess is 5 pence a page is seventy give quid). Someone, somehow, saw this material on Yezza's computer and, thanks to the culture of prying and snitching encouraged by the government and right-wing media, assumed the worst and told the University authorities. The authorities, instead of checking with the staff member in question, or even making a roundabout preliminary investigation, called the police. The reason the authorities give for this is that Yezza was a clerical member of staff (although he had studied at the University) and therefore no threat to academic freedom was involved. The pair's homes were raided and their families harrassed during the six days of detention. The pair were released on 20 May, but Hisham Yezza was subsequently re-arrested on an unrelated immigration issue and is now at Colnbrook detention centre awaiting deportation to Algeria. The Guardian writes:

Of his detention, Sabir said: "I was absolutely broken. I didn't sleep. I'd close my eyes then hear the keys clanking and I would be up again. As I realised the severity I thought I'd end up in Belmarsh with the nutcases. It was psychological torture.

"On Tuesday they read me a statement confirming it was an illegal document which shouldn't be used for research purposes. To this day no one has ever clarified that point. They released me. I was shaking violently, I fell against the wall, then on the floor and I just cried."


All of this because the student downloaded a publicly available document in the context of properly directed research. The University authorities had every reason to be aware of the nature of that research and could easily have checked all the relevant facts before ratting on one of their students. So, should this material be banned for the purposes of study? Why don't you have a look at it and tell me? If the US Department of Justice website removes the document for any reason, you can always see it here and here. In fact, the Pavilion Press have published a version which you can purchase via Amazon. If this is an illegal document, as the police appear to have told this student, the cops haven't done much to block access to it. It's probably one of the most easily obtainable documents in the world. I frankly suspect that they were [making shit up] relying on an excessively liberal interpretation of some law that would usually not be applied to retrospectively justify the arrest. And how dangerous is it? Not enough to stop the US government making it available for public consumption.

Here is a press release by Nottingham University Students and Staff:

21 May 2008

PRESS RELEASE
Nottingham University Students and Staff Express Serious Concerns about
Recent Use of the Terrorism Act on Campus and Demand Academic Freedom

Following six days in police custody under terrorism legislation, two
well-known and popular members of the University of Nottingham – a student
and a member of staff – were released without charge on Tuesday, 20 May. A
growing number of students and staff wish to express grave concerns about
the operation on a number of grounds.

1. Academic freedom
The arrests were in relation to alleged 'radical material', which the
student was apparently in possession of for research purposes. Lecturers
in the student's department, as well as academics throughout the
university, are deeply concerned about the ramifications of this arrest
for academia, especially political research. An academic familiar with the
arrested student explained that his research topic was about contemporary
political issues that are highly relevant to current foreign policy. The
criminalisation of this kind of research is an extremely worrying sign for
academic freedom, suggesting sharp limits to what may be researched at
university.

2. Racism and Islamophobia
One of the officers involved in interviewing academic staff openly stated
that: "This would never have happened if the student had been white." It
seems that the over-zealous nature of the operation, causing great injury
and distress to the students, their family, and friends, was spurred on by
the ethnicity and religious background of the students involved. Police
behaviour during the operation, including the apparent targeting of ethnic
minorities for questioning, also suggested institutional racism.

3. Use of Terrorism Act to target political activists
During questioning, the police regularly attempted to collate information
about student activism and peaceful campaigning. They asked numerous
questions about the student peace magazine 'Ceasefire', and other peaceful
student activities. The overt police presence on campus, combined with
increased and intimidating police presence at recent peaceful
demonstrations, has created a climate of fear amongst some students. Many
saw the operation as a message from the police that they are likely to
arrest those who have been engaged in peaceful political activities. There
is widespread concern in the community that the police are criminalising
peaceful activists using terrorism legislation, such as the Prevention of
Terrorism Act 2005.

4. Behaviour of the university
Many of the university's statements during this time have concerned and
angered students and academics. The university put out a great deal of
rhetoric during this period emphasising its support for the police,
refusing to acknowledge either the potential innocence of the people in
question, or the distress caused to them, their families, and friends.
University authorities also spoke of stopping groups or individuals who
"unsettle the harmony of the campus." This appeared to be a direct
reference to recent peaceful student activism and protest, suggesting that
the university is willing to clamp down on political protest using the
Terrorism Act 2000 and the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005. One lecturer
from the School of Politics suggests that the university called the police
onto campus with the ultimate aim of creating a "depoliticised" body of
students and academics. Throughout this period, the university has
continually ignored the fear caused by police presence and investigation
into legitimate political research and activities. It has also ignored the
concern of staff and students about the criminalisation of research, the
racist and Islamophobic nature of the police action, and the worrying
indication that the university provided intelligence on its own members,
possibly racially profiling its staff and students.

Academics and students from across the University of Nottingham, and
members of the public from the wider community, are calling for:

a) The guaranteed right to academic freedom
b ) An end to the criminalisation of political research
c) An end to police and university racism and Islamophobia and the full
assertion of civil rights and liberties on campus

They demand that the University of Nottingham publicly:

a) Acknowledges the disproportionate nature of the police response
b ) Acknowledges the unreserved innocence of the student and staff member
in question
c) Apologises for the great distress caused to them, their families, and
their friends
d) Guarantees academic and political freedom on campus
e) Declares its commitment to freedom of speech and freedom of expression
on campus



To their credit, the staff and students of the University are preparing a public reading of the research material in question.. We're going to find out just how 'illegal' this document really is. If you can't be at the protest, you may as well download the document. I'm sure, readers, that you can do so without succumbing to the temptation to cause a conflagration.

* The University officially denies that the police were armed when they carried out their action.

Update: This is the status of Hisham Yezza's deportation process according to a press release by students, academics and local residents:

On his release Hicham was re-arrested under immigration legislation and, due to confusion over his visa documentation, charged with offences relating to his immigration status. He sought legal advice and representation over these matters whilst in custody. On Friday 23rd May, he was suddenly served with a deportation notice and moved to an immigration detention centre. The deportation is being urgently appealed.

Hicham has been resident in the U.K. for 13 years, during which time he has studied for both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Nottingham. He is an active member of debating societies, a prominent member of an arts and theatre group, and has written for, and edited, Ceasefire, the Nottingham Student Peace Movement magazine for the last five years.

He is well known and popular on campus amongst the university community and has established himself as a voracious reader and an authority on literature and music. An application for British citizenship was underway, and he had been planning to make his yearly trip to Wales for the Hay Festival when he was suddenly arrested.

The authorities are clearly trying to circumvent the criminal justice system and force Hicham out of the country. Normally they would have to wait for criminal proceedings to finish, but here they have managed to convince the prosecution to drop the charges in an attempt to remove him a quick, covert manner. The desire for justice is clearly not the driving force behind this, as Hicham was happy to stand trial and prove his innocence.

Hicham had a large social network and many of his friends are mobilising to prevent his release. Matthew Butcher, 20, a student at the University of Nottingham and member of the 2008-9 Students Union Executive, said, "This is an abhorrent abuse of due process, pursued by a government currently seeking to expand anti-terror powers. Following the debacle of the initial 'terror' arrests they now want to brush the whole affair under the carpet by deporting Hicham."

Supporters have been able to talk with Hicham and he said, "The Home Office operates with a Gestapo mentality. They have no respect for human dignity and human life. They treat foreign nationals as disposable goods - the recklessness and the cavalier approach they have belongs to a totalitarian state. I thank everyone for their support - it's been extremely heartening and humbling. I'm grateful to everyone who has come to my aid and stood with me in solidarity, from students to Members of Parliament. I think this really reflects the spirit of the generous, inclusive Britain we know - and not the faceless, brutal, draconian tactics of the Home Office."


Labels: 'war on terror', civil liberties, islamophobia, terrorism

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Joined: 07 Dec 2005, 15:21

25 May 2008, 08:31 #4

Also posted on this thread......
Research into Islamic terrorism led to police response

22 May 2008

By Melanie Newman

A masters student at the University of Nottingham who was arrested under the Terrorism Act under suspicion of possessing extremist material was studying terrorism for his dissertation, Times Higher Education can reveal.

Academics and students have expressed concerns about the police’s handling of the case, which saw police searching campus property.

Rizwaan Sabir, a 22-year-old who was studying in the politics department, was arrested along with a 30-year-old member of staff. Both were released without charge on 20 May after having been held in custody for six days.

Mr Sabir’s lawyer, Tayab Ali of McCormacks solicitors in London, told Times Higher Education that as preparation for a PhD on radical Islamic groups, Mr Sabir had downloaded an edited version of the al-Qaeda handbook from a US government website. It is understood that Mr Sabir sent the 1,500-page document to the staff member - who was subsequently arrested - because he had access to a printer. Mr Ali said: “The two members of the university were treated as though they were part of an al-Qaeda cell. They were detained for 48 hours, and a warrant for further detention was granted on the basis that the police had mobile phones and evidence taken from computers to justify this.”


The case highlights concerns that new anti-terrorism legislation allowing detention for 28 days without charge would lead to people’s being held for extended periods on the “flimsiest of evidence”, Mr Ali said.

“Why did it take so long for the police to reach the conclusions they did?” Mr Ali asked. “These are not unqualified police, they are the top counterterrorism command for the region. They should know the difference between a book that is useful for terrorism and one that is not.”

Academics at Nottingham have expressed deep concerns about the arrest’s implications for academic freedom. Bettina Rentz, a lecturer in international security and Mr Sabir’s personal tutor, said: “This case is very worrying. The student downloaded publicly accessible information and provoked this very harsh reaction. Nobody tried to speak to him or to his tutors before police were sent in. The whole push from the Government is on policy relevance of research, and in this case the student’s research could not be more policy relevant.”

Alf Nilsen, research fellow in law and social sciences, said: “What we’re seeing here is a blatant attack on academic freedom – people have been arrested for being in possession of legitimate research materials. How can we exercise our academic freedom if we are at risk of being arrested for possession of subversive material? This sets a very alarming precedent. Academic freedom on campus should be guaranteed for all staff and students regardless of their ethnic or religious backgrounds.”

Dr Nilsen added: “I perceive the current incident at Nottingham to be occurring in tandem with several other attempts by UK authorities to increase surveillance of the academy and, in particular, non-Western students and staff, and moreover as an episode that is symptomatic of a more general curtailment of civil liberties in UK society, which seems to particularly affect and victimise non-Western citizens.”

Students at Nottingham are circulating a petition asking for the university to guarantee that the freedom of academics and students will be protected. It asks the university to acknowledge its “disproportionate response” to the possession of legitimate research materials.

A spokesman for Nottingham confirmed that the police had been called after material was found on the computer used by a junior clerical member of staff. “There was no reasonable rationale for this person to have that information,” he said. “The police were called in on the basis of reasonable anxiety and concern. In response to that, the police made a connection with a student who, we understand, was impeding the investigation and arrested that person.”

He added that the edited version of the al-Qaeda handbook was “not legitimate research material” in the university’s view.

A Nottinghamshire police spokesman said the police had applied for a warrant to extend the detention. “The judge was satisfied with the evidence presented and granted the extension,” he said.

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"We are not democrats for, among other reasons, democracy sooner or later leads to war and dictatorship. Just as we are not supporters of dictatorships, among other things, because dictatorship arouses a desire for democracy, provokes a return to democracy, and thus tends to perpetuate a vicious circle in which human society oscillates between open and brutal tyranny and a lying freedom." - Errico Malatesta, Democracy and Anarchy 1924
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Joined: 07 Dec 2005, 15:21

25 May 2008, 08:35 #5

'Draconian' Home Office fast-tracks Algerian's deportation

By Richard Osley
Sunday, 25 May 2008

The Home Office was accused last night of rushing to deport a university administrator to conceal official blunders after he was arrested on terrorism charges only to be released without charge. A Labour MP criticised the decision, claiming there was no reason for it "other than to cover the embarrassment of the police and intelligence services".

Hicham Yezza, 30, was arrested last week after he downloaded an al-Qa'ida training manual at the University of Nottingham. He was detained and questioned for six days with a second man, Rizwaan Sabir, a student.

Both men were released on Friday after it emerged that Mr Yezza had printed the document, which was downloaded from a US government website where it was freely available, at Mr Sabir's request. The university confirmed the document was being used for legitimate research purposes by Mr Sabir for his master's degree.

Upon release, Mr Yezza was immediately rearrested, served with a deportation order and taken to Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre. Mr Yezza, who comes from Algeria, had applied for leave to remain in the UK, where he has lived for the past 13 years. A hearing to decide his application was originally scheduled for July.

The Algerian's case has now been brought forward and if a frantic appeal fails he could be deported as early as Tuesday. Speaking from the deportation centre last night, Mr Yezza said immigration officials had "operated with a Gestapo mentality".


Alan Simpson, Labour MP for Nottingham South, said he had written to the Immigration minister, Liam Byrne, to protest. A "shocked" Mr Simpson said: "It seems to me that this is a clumsy response under anti-terrorism legislation to the incident at Nottingham University. I can see no reason for an emergency deportation other than to cover the embarrassment of police and intelligence services.

"Mr Yezza and his solicitors should be allowed far more than the bank holiday to make the case for his continued presence in the UK. To race him out of the country will provoke widespread protests against arbitrary deportation with no right to a proper hearing."

Speaking after his release, Mr Sabir, 22, whose family home was searched and computer scanned, said he was left "absolutely broken" by the experience.

Mr Yezza, known as "Hich", is described as a "popular face" on the campus. He contributed to debating societies, theatre groups and the Student Peace Movement magazine. Supporters said he would face groundless charges if he returned to Algeria.


In a statement last night, Mr Yezza said: "The Home Office operates with a Gestapo mentality. They have no respect for human dignity and human life. They treat foreign nationals as disposable goods – their recklessness and cavalier approach belongs to a cavalier state."

He praised the support he had received, saying it reflected "the spirit of the generous, inclusive Britain we know – and not the faceless, brutal, draconian tactics of the Home Office".

A spokesman for the Home Office said it could not comment on individual cases.

Source
"We are not democrats for, among other reasons, democracy sooner or later leads to war and dictatorship. Just as we are not supporters of dictatorships, among other things, because dictatorship arouses a desire for democracy, provokes a return to democracy, and thus tends to perpetuate a vicious circle in which human society oscillates between open and brutal tyranny and a lying freedom." - Errico Malatesta, Democracy and Anarchy 1924
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Joined: 07 Dec 2005, 15:21

25 May 2008, 08:41 #6

Notts Uni detainee innocent but still facing deportation

24.05.2008 17:41 | Migration | Repression | Terror War | Nottinghamshire

Hicham Yezza, a popular, respected and valued former PhD student and current employee of the University of Nottingham faces deportation to Algeria on Sunday 1st June. This follows his unjust arrest under the Terrorism Act 2000 on Wednesday 14th May alongside Rizwaan Sabir and their release without charge six days later.

It has subsequently become clear that these arrests, which the police had claimed related to so-called "radical materials" involved an Al Qaeda manual downloaded by Sabir as part of his research into political Islam and emailed to Yezza for printing because Sabir couldn't afford to get it printed himself.

There has been a vocal response from lecturers and students. A petition is being circulated, letters have been sent by academics across the world and a demo is being planned for Wednesday. 28th May. This has clearly been deeply embarrassing to a government currently advocating an expansion of anti-terror powers.

On his release Hicham was re-arrested under immigration legislation and, due to confusion over his visa documentation, charged with offences relating to his immigration status. He sought legal advice and representation over these matters whilst in custody. On Friday 23rd May, he was suddenly served with a deportation notice and moved to an immigration detention centre. The deportation is being urgently appealed.

Hicham has been resident in the U.K. for 13 years, during which time he has studied for both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Nottingham. He is an active member of debating societies, a prominent member of an arts and theatre group, and has written for, and edited, Ceasefire, the Nottingham Student Peace Movement magazine for the last five years.

He is well known and popular on campus amongst the university community and has established himself as a voracious reader and an authority on literature and music. An application for British citizenship was underway, and he had been planning to make his yearly trip to Wales for the Hay Festival when he was suddenly arrested.

The authorities are clearly trying to circumvent the criminal justice system and force Hicham out of the country. Normally they would have to wait for criminal proceedings to finish, but here they have managed to convince the prosecution to drop the charges in an attempt to remove him a quick, covert manner. The desire for justice is clearly not the driving force behind this, as Hicham was happy to stand trial and prove his innocence.

Hicham had a large social network and many of his friends are mobilising to prevent his release. Matthew Butcher, 20, a student at the University of Nottingham and member of the 2008-9 Students Union Executive, said, "This is an abhorrent abuse of due process, pursued by a government currently seeking to expand anti-terror powers. Following the debacle of the initial 'terror' arrests they now want to brush the whole affair under the carpet by deporting Hicham."

Supporters have been able to talk with Hicham and he said, "The Home Office operates with a Gestapo mentality. They have no respect for human dignity and human life. They treat foreign nationals as disposable goods - the recklessness and the cavalier approach they have belongs to a totalitarian state. I thank everyone for their support - it's been extremely heartening and humbling. I'm grateful to everyone who has come to my aid and stood with me in solidarity, from students to Members of Parliament. I think this really reflects the spirit of the generous, inclusive Britain we know - and not the faceless, brutal, draconian tactics of the Home Office."

[ENDS]

Contact: Sam Walton, 07948590262,  staffandstudents@googlemail.com

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"We are not democrats for, among other reasons, democracy sooner or later leads to war and dictatorship. Just as we are not supporters of dictatorships, among other things, because dictatorship arouses a desire for democracy, provokes a return to democracy, and thus tends to perpetuate a vicious circle in which human society oscillates between open and brutal tyranny and a lying freedom." - Errico Malatesta, Democracy and Anarchy 1924
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Joined: 07 Dec 2005, 15:21

25 May 2008, 08:47 #7

Student researching al-Qaida tactics held for six days

· Lecturers fear threat to academic freedom
· Manual downloaded from US government website

Polly Curtis and Martin Hodgson
Saturday May 24, 2008
The Guardian

A masters student researching terrorist tactics who was arrested and detained for six days after his university informed police about al-Qaida-related material he downloaded has spoken of the "psychological torture" he endured in custody.

Despite his Nottingham University supervisors insisting the materials were directly relevant to his research, Rizwaan Sabir, 22, was held for nearly a week under the Terrorism Act, accused of downloading the materials for illegal use. The student had obtained a copy of the al-Qaida training manual from a US government website for his research into terrorist tactics.

The case highlights what lecturers are claiming is a direct assault on academic freedom led by the government which, in its attempt to establish a "prevent agenda" against terrorist activity, is putting pressure on academics to become police informers.

Sabir was arrested on May 14 after the document was found by a university staff member on an administrator's computer. The administrator, Hisham Yezza, an acquaintance of Sabir, had been asked by the student to print the 1,500-page document because Sabir could not afford the printing fees. The pair were arrested under the Terrorism Act, Sabir's family home was searched and their computer and mobile phones seized. They were released uncharged six days later but Yezza, who is Algerian, was immediately rearrested on unrelated immigration charges and now faces deportation.

Dr Alf Nilsen, a research fellow at the university's school of politics and international relations, said that Yezza is being held at Colnbrook immigration removal centre, due to be deported on Tuesday.

"If he is taken to Algeria, he may be subjected to severe human rights violations after his involvement in this case. He has been in the UK for 13 years. His work is here, his friends are here, his life is here."

Of his detention, Sabir said: "I was absolutely broken. I didn't sleep. I'd close my eyes then hear the keys clanking and I would be up again. As I realised the severity I thought I'd end up in Belmarsh with the nutcases. It was psychological torture.

"On Tuesday they read me a statement confirming it was an illegal document which shouldn't be used for research purposes. To this day no one has ever clarified that point. They released me. I was shaking violently, I fell against the wall, then on the floor and I just cried."

Bettina Rentz, a lecturer in international security and Sabir's personal tutor, said: "He's a serious student, who works very hard and wants a career in academia. This is a great concern for our academic freedom but also for the climate on campus."

Students have begun a petition calling on the university to acknowledge the "disproportionate nature of [its] response to the possession of legitimate research materials".

A spokesman for Nottingham University said it had a duty to inform police of "material of this nature". The spokesman said it was "not legitimate research material", but later amended that view, saying: "If you're an academic or a registered student then you have very good cause to access whatever material your scholarship requires. But there is an expectation that you will act sensibly within current UK law and wouldn't send it on to any Tom, Dick or Harry."

At its annual conference next week the University and College Union will debate a motion on "assaults on academic freedom by the DIUS [Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills]". Sally Hunt, general secretary of the UCU, said: "If we really want to tackle problems like extremism and terrorism, then we need to be safe to explore the issues and get a better understanding. The last thing we need is people too frightened to discuss an issue or research a subject because they fear being arrested or reported."

The higher education minister, Bill Rammell, said: "The government does not want to or has never asked for staff or students to spy on their colleagues or friends. We want universities to work with staff and students on campus to isolate and challenge the very small minority who promote violent extremism."

Sabir's solicitor, Tayab Ali, said: "This could have been dealt with sensibly if the university had discussed the issue with Rizwaan and his tutors. This is the worrying aspect of the extension of detention [under the Terrorism Act]. They can use hugely powerful arrest powers before investigating."

Source
"We are not democrats for, among other reasons, democracy sooner or later leads to war and dictatorship. Just as we are not supporters of dictatorships, among other things, because dictatorship arouses a desire for democracy, provokes a return to democracy, and thus tends to perpetuate a vicious circle in which human society oscillates between open and brutal tyranny and a lying freedom." - Errico Malatesta, Democracy and Anarchy 1924
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