Muslim protesters face arrest

Arrests of Muslim protesters who demonstrated about cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in London last month are imminent, Scotland Yard said last night.

The Feb 3 protests outside the Danish Embassy caused widespread offence. Some protesters chanted and carried placards glorifying the July 7 London bombings and threatening beheadings.

No arrests of Muslim protesters were made at the time, a decision by police that was widely criticised.

Yesterday the Metropolitan Police disclosed that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had advised it that potential public order offences were committed.

Arrests, questioning and charges are now expected in the coming weeks in a number of cases said to run to “more than single figures”.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said last night: “During the demonstration on Feb 3 2006 the Met deployed specialist evidence gathers. This material has been collated and examined by the investigation team.

“A file of evidence was submitted to the CPS for their consideration and we have been advised that there are sufficient grounds to arrest individuals for offences under the Public Order Act.”

Incitement to racial hatred is said to be a potential charge.

Sources said the evidence involved a “number of identified and unidentified individuals”.

Operation Laverda has focused on six complaints from witnesses but the Met also received 570 complaints from people offended by images of the protests.

David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said in a letter he sent to Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, yesterday: “There is a clear public interest in ensuring that those who incite murder are appropriately dealt with and an equal public interest that there is no unnecessary delay.

“Furthermore, not to take action is to let down the moderate Muslim majority.”

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Telegraph, UK
Mar. 8, 2006
John Steele

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday March 9, 2006.
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