March 13, 2009

Peace protest case closed.....or is it?

Here's a report by Daniel Binns in the Redbridge News section of the Waltham Forest Guardian, which is a local paper in an east London borough:

WOODFORD GRN: Charges dropped against peace protester

9:24am Thursday 12th March 2009

CHARGES against a Jewish woman who was arrested while protesting against the Israeli Government's treatment of Palestinians have been dropped.

Woodford Green activist Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, 56, was due to appear at the City of London Magistrates court today following her arrest at an Israeli parade in London last June.

But with just hours to go until her court appearance, the Crown Proescution Service announced it would abandon the case because it was not in the public interest.

Ms Wimborne-Idrissi said: "This decision is welcome, of course, but it raises the question, why was the case brought in the first place?

"I have taken legal advice and am now considering whether to bring legal action against the police for wrongful arrest.”

It comes after an incident on June 29 2008 when Ms Wimborne-Idrissi held up a sign reading 'Palestinian blood on Israeli hands' at an Israeli parade along Haymarket in central London.

She also dyed her hands red.

Ms Wimborne-Idrissi claims a number of angry Israeli supporters suddenly "attacked" her as she unveiled her banner, with police arresting her shortly afterwards.

She said: "The police should have defended my right to freedom of expression. Instead I was arrested and charged under Section 5 of the Public Order Act with ‘causing harassment, alarm and distress’.”

Solicitor Simon Natas, representing Wimborne-Idrissi, said his client’s action had been “entirely peaceful and legitimate”.

Daniel Machover, Chair of Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR), said the protest should never have gone to court in the first place.

He added: “Given Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the persistent brutality of the Israeli authorities towards Palestinians, as witnessed in Gaza just weeks ago, supporters of these policies cannot expect their celebrations or marches to be held without reasonable dissent."

Well done that woman!! whoever she is!!

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