This is a guest post by Josh Robinson
In 2002, Sidali Feddag, then aged 17, was arrested in conjunction with the so-called ‘ricin plot’ and held on remand for over two years before his acquittal in April 2005. The trial at the Old Bailey – the longest held there in history – found that there was no ricin and no plot. As a minor, Sidali could not be detained with adult prisoners and thus spent his life between the ages of 17 and 20 in solitary confinement, often for 23 hours a day.
One might think that his would be a good case for compensation. Or at least counselling and some sort of support from the criminal justice system of which he was a victim. But the UK government is seeking to deport Sidali to Algeria, where he was born – where he would likely face further imprisonment without trial.
Sidali is seeking asylum in the UK, but the Home Office has been slow to respond to his application. He has been living with families who have supported him since leaving prison, and are helping him in his next steps. He completed an access course to higher education, and is now two years into a law degree at Birkbeck. His third year is due to start in
October 2008. However, because Sidali has still not received refugee-status he is liable for overseas fees of almost three thousand pounds a year, well beyond his reach.
Please consider making a donation towards Sidali’s tuition fees. You can also read further information about how donations will be used.
The website also contains further information about Sidali, which includes the following paragraph that perhaps
makes the case most strongly why readers of Harry’s Place might want to support him:
Despite his experiences, Sidali loves Britain and wants to build a life here. He’s a great admirer of our jury system and free press. He believes there are few other countries in which such a political trial could have a fair outcome. For the future, he hopes to do well in his degree and build a successful legal career here in the
UK. With your support, there is every reason to believe he will fulfil his ambitions.
The website also contains extensive further information, including press reports, about Sidali’s case.