Women found guilty under terror laws for wearing a sticker at a demo

Another Orwellian attempt to use the courts to brand opponents of imperialist-backed terror as ‘supporters of terrorism’.

Lalkar writers

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Heba Alhayek, Pauline Ankunda and Noimutu Olayinka Taiwo were found guilty of a terror offence, but they were spared jail after Deputy Senior District Judge Tan Ikram said their lesson had been ‘well learned’. Zionist pressure groups have called for the ruling to be reviewed and for the judge to face disciplinary action.

Lalkar writers

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On 14 October 2023, a week after the Palestinian resistance had mounted a highly effective attack on Israel, three women went on a pro-Palestinian march in London to oppose Israel’s genocidal attack on the Gaza Strip and to express their approval of the fact that the oppressed were fighting back so fiercely against their oppression.

They were clearly impressed by the fact that the resistance fighters had been able to evade Israeli defences by using paragliders to enter zionist-held territory, and so they attached a small picture to themselves displaying an image of a parachute.

Innocuous enough, one might suppose, but apparently not. The women were photographed and tracked down, to be charged under the Terrorism Act, no less, with carrying or displaying an article to arouse ‘reasonable suspicion’ that they were supporters of a banned terrorist organisation – ie, Hamas.

Yet, based on the charter of the United Nations, the general assembly in 1970 passed Resolution 2625, explicitly endorsing the right to resist “subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation” – exactly the situation in which the Palestinian people find themselves.

One assumes that nobody is going to argue that the United Nations is a terror organisation, or a supporter of terror?!

Regardless, when the case reached the court, the three women, Heba Alhayek, Pauline Ankunda and Noimutu Olayinka Taiwo, were found guilty as charged, although the judge took the view that there was no evidence at all to suggest that they were in fact supporters of Hamas.

Presumably, however, he thought that by sticking a small picture of a paraglider on their coats it would still have been reasonable for the man on the Clapham omnibus, however mistakenly, to say to himself: “Ah! They must be Hamas supporters!”

Ignorant of United Nations resolutions (and of the very many UN general assembly and security council resolutions of which Israel is in breach), and equally ignorant of the fact that multiple Palestinian factions – not only Hamas – were involved in the 7 October operation, the judge decided it would indeed be ‘reasonable’ for a casual passer-by to assume that the accused were Hamas supporters.

On that basis, the judge must have been aware that it was equally arguable that the same passer-by would assume the hundreds of thousands of others who attended the demonstration were Hamas supporters too. Holding a Palestinian flag? You must be a Hamas supporter. Chanting ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’? You must be a Hamas supporter.

It would not be surprising if the judge was also thinking that the whole business was an outrageous waste of the time of both the court and the police – time which would have been better spent catching and convicting real criminals. 

Be that as it may, and convinced as he was that no evidence had been brought to show that any of the ladies actually supported Hamas – even if they were, in his opinion, technically guilty as charged – he refused to send them to prison and instead gave them a conditional discharge.

We don’t know what the conditions are, but if they are kept to then their convictions will effectively be struck out.

This sensible course of action has been roundly condemned by the zionist coterie and the bourgeois establishment, who are bent on trying to silence the opponents of the racist apartheid Israeli state, a hard job because it is the opponents who have truth and justice on their side.

Trawling through the judge’s social media accounts, someone was able to identify a single occasion on which the judge ‘liked’ an anti-Israel remark. On that basis, it has been claimed he was biased and should not have tried the case.

We are quite sure no one in the establishment would have made the slightest demur if the case had been tried by a tried-and-tested zionist who had donated to Israeli causes and/or paid regular visits to Israel for his holidays.

This is not an issue in which anyone in public office is never going to have taken sides. If anything, the judge made every effort to find the women guilty, although his judgment would have been much better and closer to the truth had he found that no reasonable person would assume that sticking a picture of a paraglider on one’s coat will give rise to a reasonable suspicion that one is a supporter of Hamas.

In the circumstances, it was no less likely that they were opponents of Hamas but supporters of some other Palestinian faction. So the judge did in fact bow to establishment pressure in that regard.

An appeal is being threatened, but even one day of imprisonment for the three women would seem to any reasonable person to be entirely undeserved and an outrageously disproportionate response from the allegedly tolerant and democratic great British justice system.