Islam Channel CEO back in jail

2010-01-26 13:13

Johannesburg - The CEO of the UK-based Islam Channel was moved from the hospital to police cells in Pretoria on Tuesday morning, the Media Review Network (MRN) said.

"He was there until this morning (Tuesday) when the doctors discharged him and he was taken back to his holding cell at the Moot police station in Pretoria. That is where [he] is being held currently," said MRN chairperson Iqbal Jassat.

Muhammed Ali Harrath, 47, was arrested on arrival in South Africa on Sunday when his passport was scanned and showed a red flag notice.

However, he was admitted to hospital with a heart ailment after his arrest.

He is the CEO of Islam Channel, a UK-based television channel broadcast on DStv.

The MRN, in co-operation with the non-governmental Organisation for the Protection of Constitutional Democracy, applied early on Monday morning for an interdict to prevent him from being extradited to his home country Tunisia.

Jassat said Harrath was a political refugee who sought asylum in the UK, after leaving Tunisia about 20 years ago.

"He is a refugee who didn't commit any crime apart from being a human rights activist back then."

Jassat said the government had until Wednesday to file a replying affidavit to contest the court interdict.

Hawks spokesperson Musa Zondi said he would not comment on Jassat's statement that Harrath was innocent of any crime.

- SAPA

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