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Terrorism Conviction of Pro-Palestine Activists Reveals Politicised Nature of UK’s Justice System

(c) Cage International

London - Yesterday, three women found themselves convicted as terrorists, displaying an article in such a way or such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that they were either members or supporters of a Proscribed Organisation, namely Hamas (contrary to Section 13 of the Terrorism Act 2000) following a two-day trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. 

This was despite Judge Tanweer Ikram confirming “there’s no evidence that any of these defendants are supporters of Hamas, or were seeking to show support for them.” Moreover, it is beyond doubt that the prosecution and convictions would never have taken place were it not for the lobbying by the right wing media and interest groups who demanded that the women were punished for expressing solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

The verdict exposes how counter-terrorism powers operate as a politicised tool to curtail free thought and expression. The case underlines a lopsided reality where supporting a genocide is legitimate but expressing solidarity with those resisting settler colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing amounts to terrorism.

The "conditional discharge" offers little solace to the women, as the terrorism conviction will remain, unfairly casting a long shadow on their lives.

Anas Mustapha, head of Public Advocacy at CAGE International, said:

“It’s absurd that we can convict individuals of terrorism, despite not being guilty of acts of political violence or support of a proscribed organisation, and even when a judge acknowledges there was no malicious intent.

It brings into sharp focus how this politicised body of law only exists to preserve an unjust status quo by criminalising opinions and shutting down dissent.”


(c) Cage International 2024


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