British police arrested a pro-Palestinian human rights activist on Friday during protests against one of the largest arms expos being held in the London ExCeL centre.
The venue has been the chosen location for Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition (DSEI), which advertises itself as “the world leading” arms industry fair. It opened for business last week despite wide scale condemnation from politicians and campaigners alike.
Police arrested British Palestinian, Huda Ammori, close to the site for “wilful obstruction of the highway”. Ammori, who can be seen handcuffed by the police told MEMO that “at the time of [my] arrest I was stood on the pavement, after crossing the road and asking a truck driver approaching the arms fair to stop. The driver stopped his truck and was prepared to speak to me about the contents of his truck. It was at that moment that the police handcuffed and arrested me.”
She also said that “following [my] release from the holding cell I was charged with ‘wilful obstruction of the highway’ and given bail conditions by the police. These conditions forbid me from returning to the area of the protest until the arms fair had finished. I requested a few hours to collect my belongings from the protest. The police refused my request despite having given every other arrestee I had spoken to the same opportunity I was denied.”
Ammori, who can be heard in the video accusing the Israelis of ongoing persecution of Palestinians and then selling arms used to kill and maim civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank as “battled tested weapons”, added that “these arrests, whether lawful or unlawful, were carried out in order to diminish the protest. It was a clear attempt at squashing any dissent”.
Ammori told MEMO that she has appealed against the charge and her hearing at the Thames Magistrates’ Court will take place on October.