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Islam Channel: Mohamed Ali Harrath vindicated in ‘Interpol Red Notice Charge’ Trial in South Africa

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Background: Islam Channel is one the UK’s most popular Muslim-run satellite channels dedicated to the broadcast of “alternative news, current affairs and entertainment programming from an Islamic perspective”.

Press Release from Islam Channel, 29/03/2010

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Islam Channel CEO – Mohamed Ali Harrath appeared this morning in Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court in Pretoria, in what was regarded as a formality following his arrest at the end of January this year, in connection with an Interpol Red Notice posted by the Tunisian authorities. Mohamed Ali was bound over to re-attend the court to allow the Tunisian authorities time to put forward a case for his extradition in connection with convictions imposed in his absentia relating to his opposition 20 years ago to the one party state in Tunisia.

In January this year following Mr Harrath’s arrest at the Oliver Tambo airport, lawyers representing Mr Harrath challenged the lawfulness of the arrest and demanded that evidence be produced to confirm Mr Harrath’s guilt or complicity in alleged crimes.
In the absence of such evidence or indeed any submission from the Tunisian authorities, the Magistrate at the court in Kempton Park today notified Mr Harrath that there are no grounds on which he should be held either now or in the future in relation to the notice.

On the basis of Tunisia’s lack of response; its decision not to present evidence in this trial and the Magistrates dismissal of the case, the lawyers representing Mr Harrath will today be making an application to have the notice removed from Interpol’s records. Lawyers are also intending to pursue the South African authorities for damages in respect of wrongful arrest – on the basis that the notice was issued against him over 20 years ago by Interpol, on a misleading instruction by the government of Tunisia and that Interpol’s website states that ‘An Interpol Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant’ and ‘the person should be considered innocent until proven guilty.’

Following the trial, Mr Harrath proclaimed ‘This trial has been a significant legal test both in terms of the lack of sincerity and integrity of the allegations against me and of the unjustness of the Interpol Red Notice system – which has been used to intimidate and harass political opponents by states such as Tunisia. This result is a complete vindication of the allegations against me and I shall be pressing for a complete and urgent review of the misuse and abuse of the Interpol Red Notice system.’

Islam Channel Press Office

For all media enquiries, please contact Madeeha Dani on +44 (0) 20 7330 1746.

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Dr Mehzabeen b. Ibrahim joined MuslimMatters as a blogger in late 2007 under the handle 'iMuslim', whilst still a struggling grad student. Since then, she has attained a PhD in Molecular Biology and a subsequent Masters in Bioinformatics, and now works as a specialist in this field for a well-known British, medical charity, masha'Allah. Somewhere in between she found the time to get married, alhamdulillah. She likes to dabble in photo and videography, a sample of which can be found on her personal blog: iMuslim.tv.

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