Dr Issam Hijjawi Bassalat was released on bail on Monday 13 December 2021 and is back home in Edinburgh.

He was granted bail by the High Court in Belfast on 9 December, having previously been refused bail in Dungannon Magistrates Court. District Judge Michael Ranaghan had ruled that the heart attack that Issam had suffered in prison did not amount to a change in his circumstances

On 14 December Issam was acquitted in Edinburgh Sheriff Court of a separate charge under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 relating to a stop-and-question incident at Edinburgh airport in early 2020. He was represented in court by Ryan Sloan of Aamer Anwar & Co Solicitors.

Issam was arrested in August 2020 in an MI5 sting said to have been directed against the New IRA. He was held on remand in Maghaberry Prison until his release in December 2021.

He continues to fight against the charges brought against him in Northern Ireland. A commital hearing for Issam and his nine co-defendants is expected to be held later this year.

Issam would like to thank everyone around the world who has helped him to reach this point, whether by writing supportive letters to the court, standing surety, or by helping to spread word about his case. International support has been particularly valuable and will continue to be crucial as the legal fight-back continues.

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