A high profile raid on activists joining a humanitarian convoy to Gaza has highlighted how the police are using “anti-terrorism” laws to harass campaigners.
Nine Muslim men from Lancashire were arrested under these laws earlier this month.
They were travelling to join the Viva Palestina convoy as it set off to take toys, medicine and other aid to Palestine.
All of the men have now been released without charge. Three of them were detained for questioning for a week.
Ali Hafejee was one of those arrested. “I couldn’t believe we were being arrested for terrorism,” he told the local press. “We were going for a good thing and it has turned into a bad thing.”
Younus Rawat, another of those arrested, explained they had been organising for three weeks to raise donations. “People put their trust in us,” he said. “We were given a lot of money to take with us.”
George Galloway MP, who organised the convoy, has called for an inquiry into the arrests.
Zahir Ahmed is a Labour councillor in Burnley who knows some of those arrested. He told Socialist Worker, “There are many questions we want raised. Why were the arrests done in this way? We need to know about the harsh treatment some of them seem to have received.”