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Palestine activist to receive damages after name placed on terror category

January 12, 2021 at 11:26 am

Zaher Birawi at MEMO and EuroPal Forum conference The Palestine Question in Europe on 23 November 2019 [Middle East Monitor]

British-Palestinian Zaher Birawi has agreed to accept a settlement after the World-Check site wrongly listed him on its terrorism categorisation.

Refinitiv Ltd, owners of World-Check – which describes itself as a database of Politically Exposed Persons and heightened risk individuals and organisations, has agreed to pay Birawi compensation for damages caused as a result of the error in the listing, a press release by the chairman of EuroPal Forum said.

“Following two and a half years of continuous efforts, my legal team, authorised to pursue this case on my behalf, succeeded in forcing WorldCheck, (owned by Refinitiv Ltd), to remove my name from its lists, where it wrongly and without justification or evidence, classified me on its Terrorism list,” he explained.

“My legal team relied primarily on the fact that there has never been any legal sentence passed against me by any official authority in any state anywhere in the world, and that never have I been found to have been involved in any illegal acts which could be deemed within the scope of terrorism crimes.”

World-Check, he continued, “relied on this ‘Terrorism’ classification based on lists prepared by the State of Israel, as well as inaccurate news websites that were likely driven by political motives and agendas not based on objective evidence.”

I have no doubt that everything that was published in these sources was due to my active role in defending the rights of my Palestinian people who live under occupation and because of my political activities to expose the racism of the Israeli occupation state.

He continued: “I wish … to affirm that all attempts to tarnish my reputation will never affect my determination to pursue my duties and political activities in Europe to defend a cause which I see as my national cause and the rights of my people who live under the racist Israeli occupation regime, nor will they stop or hinder my efforts towards exposing the racism and crimes of the occupation state.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Refinitiv said: “World-Check does not perform a law enforcement function and does not have the authority to designate any person or group as a terrorist. If there is reliable information in the public domain linking an individual or group to terrorism this is reflected in World-Check. In the event this information is incorrect or updated, we will reflect this in World-Check.”

READ: British groups call for unity in support of Palestinian rights 

Update on 13January 2021 at 12.51(GMT) to include a comment from Refinitiv and correct a previous version which stated a court had ruled in the case.