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CLEARED TERROR DOC MUST GO FREE

18-12-2008

Stirrer blogger and Birmingham doctor David Nicholl has accused the Home Office of smearing his fellow medic Dr Mohammed Asha, who remains in custody despite being cleared of involvement in a terror plot this week.

Asha, a brain surgeon at North Staffs Hospital in Stoke was found not guilty of conspiracy to murder and causing explosions at Woolwich Crown Court on Tuesday.

His friend Bilal Abdualla was convicted on the same charges and given a 32-year sentence.

Since the conclusion of the case, Asha has been held by the Home Office pending possible deportation to his homeland.

Yesterday, we carried an appeal from his colleague Dr Godwin Mamutse, who argued that the neurologist should now be free to resume his career in the Midlands (see link here).

That’s now being echoed by Doc Dave, a renowned human rights campaigner, who has written a powerful letter to his MP Julie Kirkbride, demanding that Asha be allowed to stay in Britain.

Here’s his letter in full:

Dear Ms Kirkbride,

As you know I am chair of the regional training committee in neurology, what follows I am writing in a personal capacity.

I have followed the case of Dr Mohammed Asha, who was recently acquitted at the Glasgow airport bomb trial, with some interest.

Although I do not know Dr Asha, two of the neurology registrars in the training scheme that I supervise acted as character witnesses in his defence, and I have spoken to many people regarding him and I have yet to find anyone has said a bad word about him.

Thus the ongoing detention of Dr Mohammed Asha is to be deplored and reeks of attempts by the Home Office to smear his reputation.

Despite being held for almost 18 months, he was found innocent unanimously at the recent Glasgow airport bomb trial and now is still being held in prison with the threat of deportation to Jordan as his presence is "not conducive to the public good" as he knew 2 convicted terrorists.

Being found innocent should not be grounds to detain someone in prison or is the governments immigration policy as "unmerciful" as the Archbishop of York recently suggested?

I sincerely hope that this injustice is reversed forthwith and that this man should be allowed to pursue his career in neurosurgery.

I have sent a version of this letter to a national newspaper, not least because I have seen the government adopt similar political tactics with others eg Omar Deghayes who was held in Guantanamo - he was detained and threatened with deportation to Spain just because it was a good way for the government to appear 'tough' and then it all got dropped when the media interest faded.

A doctor's very professionality will have been severely tested by a high-profile trial such as this, and it is frankly scandalous that the Home Office should play tough boy politics with an individual's career when they have been found not guilty in a proper trial.

Yours sincerely,

Dr David Nicholl

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