Berlin court upholds ban on Palestinian 'Nakba Day' demonstrations

Pro-Palestinian civic group strongly criticizes ban on their demonstrations as attack on basic rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression

2022-05-13 20:26:37

BERLIN

A Berlin court on Friday upheld a ban on all Palestinian "Nakba Day" demonstrations which were scheduled to take place in the German capital this weekend, the Berlin-based Tagesspiegel newspaper reported.

The administrative court outlawed five Palestinian demonstrations because for what it said was a risk of inflammatory or anti-Semitic calls and violence.

Reacting to the prohibition, the Palestinian civic group "Palestine Speaks" strongly criticized the ban on their demonstrations as an attack on the basic rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.

"The ban on the commemorative events by the Berlin police restricts Palestinians in Germany in their fundamental rights and is worrying on several levels according to the standards of a democratic constitutional state,” the group said in a statement.

"The Nakba commemorative events are an important way for us Palestinians in Germany to remember the injustice perpetrated against our ancestors and to take a stand for the human rights of Palestinians everywhere," according to an unnamed spokesperson for "Palestine Speaks."

Palestinian groups had announced that they would protest against Israel's policies on the day of expulsion, Nakba (catastrophe), especially on Saturday and Sunday.

The demonstrations were planned because of the so-called Nakba Memorial Day which the Palestinians observe on May 15 every year to commemorate the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the first Middle East war in 1948.

Palestinian civic leaders in Berlin have repeatedly made clear they do not condone anti-Semitic slurs in their demonstrations, saying their only objective is to highlight the ongoing Israeli repression in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Germany is an ardent ally of Israel and has repeatedly been silent on Israel's continued brutal crackdown in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.