Socialist Worker

Gaza protester freed from prison

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2194

Gaza protester Layla Lahouidek walked free from prison today after a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice. She has also had her sentence dramatically reduced.

Layla was originally jailed for 15 months for violent disorder after taking part in the demonstrations for Gaza in January last year. She plead guilty in West London magistrates court in October last year.

But she had strong grounds for appeal after Miriam Hamid, a young woman also involved in the same incident in Starbucks on Shaftsbury Avenue, was given a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

In the court this morning the judge said that the disparity between the sentences would give concern to an average person.

It is on these grounds that Layla was immediately released from prison and will be able to return home to her family today.

Layla has found her time in prison very difficult and has been moved around several times. Her last prison was in Bristol, meaning that her family had to drive for three hours in order to see her.

This is a significant step forward in the campaign for justice for all of the Gaza protesters.

It comes after all charges were dropped against Jake Smith yesterday.

A protest will be held outside Isleworth Crown court tomorrow morning at 9.30am in solidarity with those being sentenced.

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Article information

Thu 25 Mar 2010, 12:18 GMT
Issue No. 2194
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