There has been a history of Scottish Police and the Scottish Legal Establishment trying to demonise the Palestine solidarity movement. When the Jewish Quartet played in Edinburgh the concert was disrupted. The same happened elsewhere in Britain. In London 6 of us disrupted the JQ at the Wigmore Hall in London. However in Scotland the authorities have made every effort to criminalise Palestine protestors as ‘anti-Semitic’. Charges of “racially aggravated conduct” levelled at 5 members of the Scottish Palestine Scottish Camapign were thrown out by Sheriff James Scott at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday 8th April 2010.
|Scottish Police say it is illegal to call fascists Nazis|
Scott said the prosecutor's "attempts to squeeze malice and ill will out of the agreed facts were rather strained". The sheriff upheld the defendants' arguments that their protests, in which they accused Israel of genocide in Gaza, were simply against the behaviour of a state and its army, not an attack on Jews or any ethnic group.
The protesters had clear rights to attack a state's behaviour under the European convention on human rights, he said.
"If persons on a march designed to protest against and publicise alleged crimes committed by a state and its army are afraid to name that state for fear of being charged with racially aggravated behaviour, that would render worthless their Article 10 rights," he said.
Mick Napier of Scottish PSC said demonstrations against Israel's policies would continue.
"As long as the ethnic cleansing of Palestine continues, Israel's political, cultural, and sporting ambassadors will face boycott protest similar to that faced by the racist apartheid South African regime in the last century,"
The fact that the Scottish legal authorities failed is immaterial to the fact that they tried very hard to prevent Palestine protest actions. It seems that the Police are once again acting as the long arm of the Zionist movement.
|BBC gives American fascist Steve Bannon a platform|
When a protest was held at a media conference in Edinburgh this week, when the BBC interviewed Stephen Bannon, the former editor Breitbart and an open fascist who is attempting to co-ordinate European far-Right parties, which was yet another example of the BBC giving publicity to racists and fascists, a protest was held.
Bannon, the former chief exec of Trump’s presidential campaign, and the strategist behind Trump’s attack on refugees, was given the oxygen of publicity by the BBC.
|In 2010 Scottish Police arrested PSC activists demonstrating at the Jerusalem Quartet concert in Edinburgh|
About 100 protestors assembled outside the Edinburgh International Conference Centre this week. Bannon was one of the star speaker’s at the European Broadcasting Union’s annual News Xchange conference. Nicola Strugeon withdrew from it when Bannon’s attendance was brought to light by The Ferret. Sturgeon blasted the BBC – who helped to organise the event – as running the risk of the “normalisation” of fascist views. The BBC tried to justify his inclusion by telling the First Minister that he is “powerful and influential figure… promoting an anti-elite movement”. There is nothing anti-elitist about fascism although Hitler and many other fascists have always made this bogus claim.
The BBC’s report “Man arrested at Steve Bannon protest in Edinburgh”. revealed that a 56 year old man was “arrested and charged with threatening and abusive behaviour” holding a sign saying “Nae Nazis”.
“We were both asked to put them away by the police because it could constitute an offence.” They wouldn’t specify which offence,” a woman said. “When I put my sign down, another guy picked it up and was arrested by police immediately.”
“The police dragged the guy off further down the road and I don’t know what happened over there, although a large crowd were watching and filming.”
It’s understood the man was told he was being arrested for breach of the peace, which – unlike England – is a catch all offence in Scotland with no limit on the potential sentence. It is absurd that describing a fascist as a ‘Nazi’ should be considered threatening and abusive behaviour, and is an outrageous attack on freedom of speech. ‘We will, of course, keenly await the howls of outrage from all the free speech bros, Spiked columnists and assorted liberal commentators about it though.’
Inside, Bannon was pitted against the BBC Scotland editor Sarah Smith. As this thread from Buzzfeed’s Ryan Broderick shows, Bannon spent the entire time talking over her, evading questions, and bringing up his pet subjects, like ‘racism: actually good’, while Smith tried to nitpick about inaccurate things Trump had said.
“Bannon is basically delivering a monologue about the wonders of enthonationalism and sometimes asking Smith a question,” tweeted Broderick. Bannon rounded it off by calling the entire audience “the opposition” and saying how excited he is for the European elections – the same elections for which he is making a big shown of co-ordinating far right parties across the continent.
The man was arrested under Section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2000. It would be logical to assume that police officers were briefed ahead of the event over what would and would not be allowable in terms of protest signs and flags. The real question now is – who passed down orders that “Nae Nazis” is a breach of the peace?
Well of course it makes sense that the proposed death penalty for ‘terrorism’ in Israel will only be applicable for Palestinians. As we know that nothing Israel does is ‘terrorism’. It is law and order and in any event you cannot expect a Jewish state to execute a Jew.
As the Knesset's Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee prepared to debate the first draft of the "Death Penalty for Terrorists" bill, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel feared it was intended for Palestinians only and demanded that it be struck down for violating international law and Israel's Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.
|Haneen Zoabi of Balad speaking in the Knesset|
Adalah sent a letter on Tuesday, 13 November 2018 to committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky MK demanding that he shelve the bill. However, unlike the Bill which was proposed by Balad to make Israel a state of its own citizens and which was rejected as unfit to be debated even before it got to the Knesset floor, this Bill has been approved. Knesset Council Bans Bill to Define Israel as State for All Its Citizens
Israel is the kind of democracy that is happy to discuss a racist death penalty for Palestinians only but which believes that the idea of a state where all are equal is unconstitutional. But this doesn’t stop racist idiots like Labour MPs Emily Thornberry and Tom Watson signing up to this.
In his letter to Slomiansky, Adalah Attorney Rabea Eghbariah argued that the death penalty is an example of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, and therefore contradicts the spirit of international law and the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.
Furthermore, the legislation of a death penalty would potentially lead, practically, to discrimination based on ethnicity and national belonging. The law would be imposed by the Knesset on the Israeli military courts in the occupied West Bank – in contradiction of the provisions of international law – and would create different norms of application on Palestinian residents of the West Bank."
Adalah Attorney Rabea Eghbariah commented on the bill:
"At a time when countries around the world are ridding themselves of the death penalty, Israel is seeking to legitimize it. This is a draconian bill that is not only futile in its declared purpose of creating a deterrent effect, but contradicts core legal rights and is overtly aimed at Palestinians exclusively."
Of course there is nothing in the Bill itself which says it will not apply to Jews. It’s just that it can only be applied by the Military Courts in the West Bank. And who is subject to the Military Courts? Why of course Palestinians as Jewish settlers are subject to the normal Israeli civil and criminal courts.
Ironically despite the Israeli government introducing a Bill supporting the death penalty in the Occupied Territories, at the UN Israel supported a motion calling for the ending of the death penalty! Clearly when it comes to hasbara the Israeli state is happy to oppose the death penalty.
Meet Ahmed: the schoolboy who was sentenced to death in Egypt for a crime that took place 21 days after his arrest
Meet Ahmed. He was just 17 when he was abducted by Egyptian police and tortured until he "confessed" to taking part in an assassination attempt.
But here's the thing: the attempt took place 21 days AFTER Ahmed's abduction. He couldn't have done it.
This is his story.
On 2 March 2015, armed officers kicked down the door of Ahmed’s family home in the middle of the night and took Ahmed from his bed. There was no warrant.
He was taken to an undisclosed location, where he was held for nearly three months. He was not allowed to contact a lawyer or even his family – who didn’t know if he was alive or dead.
While in detention, Ahmed was beaten with metal rods and subjected to electric shocks until he confessed to crimes he didn't commit.
The most serious alleged offence – involvement in an attempted assassination – took place on 23 March 2015, 21 days after Ahmed’s abduction. Ahmed simply could not have been involved in the assassination attempt, because he was already in custody and being tortured as it happened.
After 80 days, Egyptian authorities finally acknowledged Ahmed's detention and "officially" arrested him.
If you thought that Ahmed would be able to clear his name at trial, you’d be wrong. Ahmed was sent to a mass trial of 30 people, nearly all adults.
Officially, children in Egypt should be tried in special juvenile courts. But the authorities exploited a loophole in the law that allows children to be tried alongside adults in mass trials.
Mass trials are not fair trials – scores or even hundreds of people stand in the dock at once, unable to present an individual defence. This leaves children especially vulnerable.
Ahmed was convicted in a mass trial on the basis of his forced confession obtained through torture, which the court failed to exclude.
Ahmed has now been sentenced to death. Under Egyptian and international law, children should never be sentenced to death. Yet in Egypt, this is regularly ignored. Courts have recommended death sentences for at least 10 children since 2013.
A final appeal in Ahmed’s case is in December. But in the meantime, we’ve launched a campaign to end the appalling abuses like those Ahmed has suffered.
We’re calling on Egypt to release children sentenced to death, close the Child Death Penalty Loophole, and end the use of mass trials. You can read more and join the campaign to #EndMassInjustice here: https://act.reprieve.org.uk/page/content/egypt?source=eg1018fbthv1
You can sign the petition to end mass trials and death sentences for children here: https://act.reprieve.org.uk/page/s/egypt?source=eg1018fbthv2