We refer to media reports that appeared in various news outlets since Tuesday, 25th of August, reporting on the arrest of Dr Issam Bassalat (Hijjawi), a British citizen of Palestinian origin. We would point out some erroneous information that was reported. Please note that Dr Bassalat is neither the chairperson of our organisation, the Scottish Palestinian Society, nor does he hold any formal office or represent our Society in any official capacity. However, in 2017 Dr Bassalat was the chairperson of our Society’s predecessor, the Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland, which ceased to exist in 2018.
Dr Bassalat is and remains to be an ordinary member of our Society, which includes members from a varied range of political orientations and of none. The Society, however, is apolitical as an organisation.
Our members are British citizens or residents of Palestinian origin who are hardworking and law abiding. We believe in the rule of law and the British and Scottish justice systems, both have as one of their pillars the principle of “innocent until proven guilty”. Our belief and trust in the British justice system therefore warrants that we assume Dr Bassalat to be innocent and treated as such until proven otherwise by a court of law.