Monday, May 25, 2020

German authorities stop speech of Palestinian activist

By F.F. Dawkins - July 04, 2019
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Freedom of Speech ]

The German authorities have banned Palestinian-Canadian journalist Khaled Barakat from speaking at a public event in Berlin, stating his speeches are “anti-Semitic” on 22 June.

Barakat was supposed to present a speech about the Arabic and Palestinian reactions towards the 'Peace to Prosperity’ plan of the Trump administration. 

The event was initially scheduled for 21 June, in a city-owned venue by an Arabic community in Berlin. However, complaints by Zionist organisations meant the event was pushed back a day and the venue was changed to the Sudanese community house of Berlin. 

When attempting to enter the event location, Barakat and the international coordinator of the NGO Samidoun who organised the event, Charlotte Kates, were stopped by German police and informed that the event would not take place. 

According to Samidoun, German officials did not inform the organisers about the prohibition of the event. 

Barakat told the Electronic Intifada that, “I was approached by a group of police and one officer spoke to me. He said: 'You have an event here tonight and you are the speaker … you cannot speak’”. Before the prohibition of his speech, Barakat had been living in Berlin for 18 months working as freelancer and writer. 

However, following the ban of the event, Khaled Barakat was brought to a police station, where he was told he is not allowed to give any speeches in Germany – neither in person or by video. 

On top of these restrictions, Barakat is prohibited from attending political meetings, or cultural events, which exceed over 10 people till 31 July. The order included “a limit on your political activity until you leave the Federal Republic of Germany”. 

If violating these conditions, Barakat could be possibly facing one-year imprisonment.

These restrictions, according to Samidoun were justified from the Foreigner Office Berlin, claiming that Khaled Barakat political engagement is dangerous. 

According to a report from the German Foreign Ministry that was cited by The Jerusalem Post, Barakat is a committee member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Lebanon. Several states, like the US, Canada and the Arab League, with exemptions of Lebanon and Iraq, label the PFLP as a terrorist organisation. The report further claims that Barakat was in charge of arranging military training for the PFLP member Mustapha Awad in 2015.  

The ban of his speech and the limitation of his political and cultural engagement are legally backed by German law. This law enables the imprisonment of non-citizen if they presumably endanger the security or stability of Germany. 

The Barakat case is not a singular instance. The appearance of former PFLP member and activist, Rasmea Odeh, in March was cancelled, and Odeh was eventually told to leave the country. 

Another example is the resignation of the director of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Peter Schäfer, after tweeting an article, which criticised the anti-BDS resolution of the German parliament.

Lead image source: No One Is Illegal Vancouver, Flikr

Back to Top

Related Articles

WATCH: Interview with Mustafa Barghouti
May 23, 2020

Femicide rates rise as coronavirus lockdown continues
April 30, 2020

Barghouthi: Walls and weapons canít stop a virus, priorities must change!
April 19, 2020

Most Popular Articles

Israelís puppet war unmasks apartheid regime
The El-Hakawati theatre was colorfully adorned to host its annual International

Rushdi Tamimi becomes second victim of Israeli army in Nabi Saleh
On Tuesday November 21st, the body of 31 year old Rushdi Tamimi was

Israel Avoids Hard-Right Shift: No Benefit for Palestinians
With many commentators predicting big wins for the settler movement in

Designed & Developed by: Pixel Co