Palestinian student ‘full of joy’ after Oct 7 attack upset she faces deportation

Dana Abuqamar, 19, claims Palestinians are not being afforded the right to freedom of expression
Dana Abuqamar, 19, claims Palestinians are not being afforded the right to freedom of expression

A Palestinian student who said she was “full of pride” after Hamas launched its attack on Israel faces deportation.

Dana Abuqamar, 19, a law student at Manchester University, had her visa to stay in the UK revoked in December after she was filmed just a day after the Hamas terrorist attack saying she was “really full of joy” and “proud that Palestinian resistance has come to this point”.

Suella Braverman and Robert Jenrick, the home secretary and immigration minister at the time, ruled that her presence in the UK was “not conducive to the public good” and revoked her visa, meaning she had no right to remain.

Ms Abuqamar is, however, understood to be fighting the decision on the basis that rescinding her student visa has “violated her human rights” on the “baseless” accusation that she is a “risk to public safety”.

It is thought Ms Abuqamar is taking legal action as there is no formal right of appeal to the revocation of a visa. Under the rules, an individual is expected to voluntarily leave the UK. If they fail to do so, they face removal by immigration enforcement.

The Home Office would only say that it did not comment on individual cases.

In a video released this week, Ms Abuqamar confirmed she was appealing the decision and said her remarks in October, which were publicly condemned by policing minister Chris Philp, had been misrepresented.

She told Middle East Eye: “My words were taken out of context and they were framed as me supporting harm to innocent civilians, which is completely false and completely untrue.

“The UK Home Office decided to revoke my student visa following public statements supporting the Palestinian right to exercise under international law to resist oppression and break through the siege that was illegally placed on Gaza for over 16 years.”

She added: “It’s an outrageous claim that the Home Office is making by deeming me a national security threat.

“I am a 19-year-old who has done nothing but go to school and advocate for social justice and try to be an asset to my community.

“So saying I pose a threat to national security is a completely baseless claim.”

‘Human rights appeal’

The final year law student said she had made a “human rights appeal”, citing freedom of expression as a fundamental human right in the UK.

She has said it appears Palestinians like herself are not being afforded that right.

Ms Abuqamar added: “We must reject the double standard in the application of human rights by public authorities and rise against this oppression.”

On Oct 8 Ms Abuqamar was speaking to Sky News in Manchester when she praised the assault on Israel.

She said: “We are full of pride. We are really, really full of joy [at] what has happened.... We are proud that Palestinian resistance has come to this point.”

However, after widespread condemnations, including from Chris Philp, the policing minister, she claimed her comments had been misrepresented, and later told BBC: “The death of any innocent civilian should not be condoned ever and we don’t condone it at all.”

Ms Abuqamar told the broadcaster that 15 of her relatives had died in an Israeli strike on a residential building in Palestine.

A Home Office spokesman said: “It is a longstanding government policy that we do not comment on individual cases.”