OTTAWA (AFP) — Lawyers for British lawmaker George Galloway said on Wednesday they would appeal a Canadian border agency's decision to deny him entry for a speaking tour, over national security concerns.
The firebrand MP was to give a speech in Toronto at the end of the month.
But a spokesman for Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told AFP he was deemed inadmissible by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) for having given cash and vehicles to the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip, which is listed here as a banned terrorist group.
Galloway's lawyer Jamie Liew told a press conference she would send a letter to the Canadian high commission in London denouncing its allegations that he has terror ties, and ask a federal court to review the CBSA decision.
His legal team would also ask for an injunction to allow him to participate in events planned for him in Canada, she said.
The member of the British parliament and his supporters accused Ottawa of "censorship" by refusing to let him tout his anti-war messages here.
Liew said the CBSA was "stretching the definitions of what a terrorist activity is" by applying it to Galloway.
"It's a dangerous precedent, the notion that a distribution of humanitarian aid to people in a territory or to an elected government could be considered a terrorist activity," she told reporters.
"This is a very onerous and very harsh activity that the government is engaging in by sanctioning certain people because of the certain beliefs and opinions that they may hold."
It also infringes on Canadians' right to hear "other opinions," she said.
Galloway traveled to Gaza last week at the head of a humanitarian convoy.
He praised the Palestinian "resistance" and condemned Israel's 22-day offensive launched in December, in which 1,300 Palestinians died, as "genocidal aggression."
The British MP also donated thousands of dollars and dozens of vehicles to the Hamas-run government.
He received support in Canada from anti-war activists and opposition MPs.
However, Alykhan Velshi, a spokesman for Canada's immigration minister, described Galloway as "a street-corner Cromwell who brags about giving 'financial support' to Hamas."
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »