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Pro-Palestine bans overturned and all charges dropped

Pro Palestine March

On October 11, Austrian police arrested over 300 people for attending a rally in support of Palestinians in Vienna, while at the same time, a pro-Israel vigil was held less than a mile away, attended by representatives of all parliamentary parties.

Since then, other European countries, such as Germany and the Czech Republic have placed restrictions on pro-Palestinian protests.

The police crackdown sparked criticism from lawyers who denounced the violation of freedom of expression.

At the demonstrations in Vienna the slogan 'Free Palestine from the river to the sea’ was heard several times.

In November the Justice Department issued a decree that this sentence would endorse terrorism. In my opinion, this decree is not justified.

Because of these bans, I see freedom of expression in danger.

Astrid Wagner, Lawyer

One of the activists who experienced repression is Martin Weinberger of Palestine Solidarity Austria.

During such an event me with five other people were arrested for attending a manifestation [sic] which was illegal and detained for 10 hours by police.

Martin Weinberger, Palestine Solidarity Austria

In recent weeks various European courts have dismissed the bans and dropped all charges.

For instance, in the Czech Republic, the Municipal Court in Prague ruled that the city had no right to ban the demonstration on December 5th due to the slogan 'From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free'.

This decision allows further demonstrations to put pressure on the Czech government which, like Austria, voted against a ceasefire in Gaza at the UN General Assembly.

European citizens have consistently taken to the streets in support of Palestine, at the same time, their government's face criticism for their unrepresentative actions, often favoring the Zionist regime of Israel.

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