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US court suspends Arizona anti-BDS law

October 1, 2018 at 11:03 am

BDS protesters [Heri Rakotomalala/Flickr]

A US federal court in Arizona on Thursday suspended a state-sponsored law requiring contractors wishing to work with the state not to participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

The decision saw a win for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which filed a complaint against the State of Arizona in December on behalf of Mikkel Jordahl, a lawyer who represent prisoners in Coconino County Jail.

“Grateful to ACLU client, Mikkel Jordahl, who challenged Arizona’s unconstitutional anti-BDS law and kudos to the brilliant legal team who represented him: Brian Hauss, Kathy Brody, and Vera Eidelman,” said Jamil Dakwar, a Palestinian lawyer and the director of ACLU human rights programme.

Read: Citing BDS US professor declines reference letter for student to study in Israel

Judge Diane Joyce Humetewa, who issued the order, said the law violates the first amendment which guarantees the freedom of expression.

“A restriction of one’s ability to participate in collective calls to oppose Israel unquestionably burdens the protected expression of companies wishing to engage in such a boycott,” she said.

The law was introduced in 2016 and stipulates that companies wishing to sign contracts with the local authority in Arizona should not participate in the boycott movement against Israel.