LETTER : Political asylum does not permit propaganda campaigns

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From Mr J. A. Davis

Sir: Your extreme indignation at the proposed deportation of Mohammed al-Masari is, I suggest, misplaced (Leading article: "A stinking, rotten deal", 5 January). He is not being "sent into exile". He already is in exile. He is merely being required to change the place of his exile. Political asylum exists merely to provide a safe haven for those who might otherwise suffer persecution for their views. It does not exist to provide a secure base for those who wish to pursue propaganda campaigns against the lawful governments of countries with which we maintain friendly relations. Mr al-Masari, while a guest here, was acting in ways which were contrary to our national interest in pursuing lawful trade with a friendly nation.

He is being required to leave for abusing our hospitality, nothing more sinister than that.

Yours faithfully,

J.A. Davis

Bookham, Surrey

6 January