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Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Gaza report condemns policing


The Islamic Human Rights Commission today released a damning report of the policing of the Gaza demonstrations in December 08 and January 09.

The report highlights the unnecessary and brutal use of force by the Metropolitan police as well as the practice of crushing protesters into protest 'pens' and the discriminatory treatment of Muslim protesters.

It also heavily criticises the use of Forward Intelligence Teams.

From the report:

i) The Role and Function of Forward Intelligence Teams (FITs)

IHRC is concerned about the role and function of FITs and their potential impact on Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), Article 10 (freedom of expression), Article 11 (freedom of peaceful assembly and association) andArticle 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the ECHR. For the duration of the London Gaza demonstrations, there was an obvious and extensive presence of FITs.105 On occasion, IHRC observers noted that visiblyMuslim activists were closely studied; for example, an IHRC volunteer had to give her details, as she was video recorded for selling merchandise. She claimed thatmembers from other organisations were not harassed for selling their merchandise. Moreover, she claims that FITmembers dealt with her in an aggressive and intimidating fashion.

Subsequent to the BBC protest in Trafalgar Square (24 January 2009), a group of pro-Palestinian protesters were surrounded, cornered into a side street (near the theatre in Leicester Square) and made to line up against the wall. Each protester was ‘meticulously’ video-recorded and photographed. Pictorial evidence clearly depicts this scene and a witness stated that members of the pro-Palestinian contingent were made to say something in front of the camera.106 IHRC is concerned that FITs may be overreaching powers granted by virtue of section 50 PRA. Furthermore, IHRC expresses disquiet over reports of harassment and
house raids of those who had provided theMPS with personal details for the duration of the London Gaza demonstrations.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

yawn.

Anonymous said...

indeed. little or no use in this site. Nothing of its old fire...

Fighting Fit said...

Anonymouses,

Muslim protesters beaten, abused and sworn at by police, FIT teams harassing Muslim protesters for being Muslim, young and male. This doesn't interest you?

(it may not surprise you - but that's a different question).

I'd have thought even our usual police commenters may have something more illuminating to say than 'yawn'.

Of course if you are really uninterested in this sort of thing, why are you making the trouble to comment on this blog?

Anonymous said...

I think they meant - 'as the Islamic Human Rights Commission have no credibility a report by the group has none either'.

They managed to condense this message to 'Yawn' - I am forced to agree!

fighting fit said...

Opinion of the IHRC is surely irrelevant here, what does matter is the issues raised in this report.

The report pulls together very many reports of abuse and assault by police on demonstrators, and having been at a couple of the demos referred to, I'm quite sure they are both genuine and accurate.

I find it amazing that when it was climate camp activists getting beaten up in Bishopsgate, liberal Britain was up in arms. When it is Muslim pro-Palestine protesters, it seems perfectly ok for police to push, shove, kettle, and baton to their hearts content.

The IHRC has spoken out against the treatment of Gaza protesters when few others have. For that alone they deserve some respect.

Secular Socialist said...

I think I would rather take my chances in a London policied by the Met than policed the Iranian supporting Islamic Human Rights Commission.

As Kenan Malik points out, can you get a more 20th century, western liberal concept than human rights?

Anonymous said...

So you don't like Iran, and that makes it ok for the police to batter the hell out of Muslim protesters in London.

Nope, sorry, don't see your logic here.

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