The Guardian and Independent have been following the case of Hicham Yezza of Nottingham University who is now facing deportation to Algeria this Sunday despite being released without charge six days after his arrest under the Terrorism Act 2000 on 14th May alongside masters student Rizwaan Sabir.

The reason? Printing off an Al Qaeda manual for Sabir’s masters research into political Islam, which Yezza was able to do free of charge as a staff member. The result? On 23rd May Yezza, who has been a UK resident for 13 years, and done both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Nottingham, found himself served with a deportation notice and moved to an immigration detention centre.

This draconian tale really leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. A letter signed by 31 eminent University of Nottingham academics appears in todays Guardian. The blatant curbs on academic freedom are explored here at Comment is Free by a fellow Nottingham postgrad and apparently there is a demo going on in Nottingham as we speak. It seems a long way from when I interviewed a biology PhD student at Manchester a few years ago for a bit of research I was doing on postgraduate life. I asked him to sum up the experience and he told me “you stare up the arse of a fruit-fly for three years and get yourself to call yourself doctor at the end of it”. Not so on this occassion.

UPDATE: Further reading on this subject over at Harry’s Place in a post penned by my Kingston University colleague Sarah Amsler. Pickled politics also featured the story yesterday.

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