Dr Salam Ismael, now 28 years old, was head of junior doctors in Baghdad before the invasion of Iraq. He was in Fallujah in April 2004 where he treated casualties of the assault on the city.
At the end of 2004 he came to Britain to collect funds for an aid convoy to Fallujah. Now the British government does not want Dr Salam Ismael’s testimony to be heard.
He was due to come here last week to speak at trade union and anti-war meetings. But he was refused entry. The reason given was that he received expenses, covering the basic costs of his trip, when he came to Britain last year and this constitutes “illegal working”.
Dr Salam Ismael merely wishes to speak the truth. Yet it seems the freedom that Bush and Blair claim to champion in Iraq does not extend to allowing its citizens to travel freely.
Legal challenges, supported by the Stop the War Coalition, were launched this week in an effort to allow Dr Salam Ismael to come to Britain.