Judge Overturns Ban on “Hamas is Terrorist” banner Protestor.

A judge has told the Metropolitan Police it cannot stop an Iranian dissident who displays a sign branding Hamas as terrorists from attending pro-Palestinian protests.

Under strict bail conditions imposed by the force, Niyak Ghorbani, who has been arrested three times during his counter-protests, would have been prevented from going near any central London demonstrations relating to Israel and the conflict in Gaza.

But a judge has now thrown out the conditions, ruling that they were neither proportionate nor necessary.

The conditions had been imposed after 38-year-old Mr Ghorbani was arrested for a third time during a pro-Palestinian march earlier this month.

He has become well known for holding up a sign stating “Hamas Is Terrorist” while standing alongside the route of the regular protests being held in London against Israel’s retaliation to Hamas’s October 7th attacks.

After his last arrest on April 5th, when he was not carrying the banner, he was handed a sheet outlining his bail conditions as being “not to attend any protest relating to Israel or Palestine in the City of Westminster”.

Officers told him the conditions would remain in place until at least July, when he is due to return to Charing Cross police station to learn whether he faces any charges.

On Friday, Mr Ghorbani went to Westminster magistrates’ court to appeal against the police action.

Jessie Smith, his barrister of Doughty Street Chambers, told the court the Met had been wrong to impose the bail condition.

Pointing out that Police had taken no further action following Mr Ghorbani’s two arrests, she added: “We have here someone who has held up a flag with a legal statement written on it”.

“A condition of this kind at this precise time, imposed for three months, and given that he does not have a criminal record, is not proportionate. It is wholly disproportionate.”

Deputy District Judge Lisa Towell agreed and ordered the ban to be lifted. She told Mr Ghorbani: “In the circumstances, I’m not satisfied that the condition is either necessary or proportionate. At this stage, I’m prepared to remove the condition.”

Given” that the UK banned Hamas as a terrorist organisation in November 2021, it is bizarre, or maybe not to many Nationalist activists, the decision by the Police to arrest and charge a person for stating something that is a fact acknowledged by the UK Government and various other countries.

It may not seem strange to many Nationalist activists as this has happened to these activists fairly regularly in the past. Activists have been assaulted by the opposition as the Police police watch and then been arrested for defending themselves. They have been assaulted, detained and harassed for holding legal demonstrations, handing out leaflets with mainstream news stories on them, or Government-acknowledged facts and statistics just for them to go to court and have their cases thrown out by judges or be found not guilty.

In Mr Ghorbani’s case, it may be a simple case of cowardice on the part of the Police. It is easier for them to arrest and harass one man going about his lawful business than to stand up to a mob. In the case of many Nationalist activists, it is a clear-cut case of Political Policing, where the officers on the street are acting on the biased political views of their superiors or maybe on the orders of others in the background.

Either way, these cases are on the increase, and it is a worrying trend of stopping the freedom of speech that we have enjoyed in this nation for many decades. Our freedom appears to be teetering on the edge of a very dark abyss.

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