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Author jailed for "Unauthorised" anti-war protests
08-30-2007, 08:36 AM,
Author jailed for "Unauthorised" anti-war protests
Largely missed by the mainstream media, even the BBC doesn't mention this. The fact that IMHO this is one of the most shocking and disgusting, and very important legal precedents ever set in UK law probably helps to explain the silence.

However it does appear in The Telegraph.


Parliament war protester jailed over £600 fine

The first person to be convicted of organising a demonstration within an exclusion zone around Parliament Square has been jailed for refusing to pay his fine.

Milan Rai was sentenced to 14 days in Wandsworth prison, south London, after refusing to pay fines totalling £600 when he appeared at Horseferry magistrates court.

In October 2005, he was arrested opposite Downing Street along with the vegan chef Maya Evans after the pair read out the names of Iraqis and British service personnel who had been killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion in a protest beside the Cenotaph.

Mr Rai was convicted of organising an unauthorised protest within a kilometre of Parliament, fined £350 and ordered to pay £150 costs.

His conviction came under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act introduced in April 2005, which made organising unauthorised demonstrations within the one-kilometre exclusion zone punishable by up to 51 weeks in prison and a £2,500 fine, and participating such demonstrations punishable by a fine of up to £1,000.

In May 2007 the pair were convicted again, this time for organising and participating in a weekend of demonstration marking the second anniversary of the Allied onslaught on the Iraqi city of Fallujah.

Dozens of people erected tents on the grass in Parliament Square for the "No More Fallujahs'' demonstration and five others were also arrested.

At his second trial Mr Rai was fined £100 and on both occasions he declared that he would refuse to pay his fines on grounds of conscience.

Mr Rai, Miss Evans and two others lost a High Court battle last year to have their convictions overturned. But Lord Justice Waller and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones ruled it was accepted that the new law was "compatible'' with human rights legislation.

Source: Daily Telegraph

Another link: IndyMedia

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