Germany threatens journalist with prison for speaking about Palestine

A man wearing a Palestinian scarf speaks at a podium
Khaled Barakat (photo: No One Is Illegal Vancouver)
Germany fearful of open discourse critical of Israel.

By  Riri Hylton  |  The Electronic Intifada  |  Jul 1, 2019

‘The same forces advocating for and issuing this political ban against me are involved in repressing Jewish voices that criticize Zionism, Israeli policy and German policy on Israel.’
—Khaled Barakat

German authorities barred Palestinian-Canadian journalist Khaled Barakat from speaking at a Palestine solidarity event in Berlin, claiming his “anti-Semitic” speeches posed a threat to public order and could undermine relations between the country and Israel.

The activist has been prohibited from attending future political events and threatened with up to one year in prison, marking another success in the Israel lobby’s bid to clamp down on criticism abroad.

Barakat had been invited to speak at an Arab community event in Berlin on 22 June to discuss Palestinian liberation and its implications for other Arab communities, as well as US President Donald Trump’s so-called Deal of the Century.

But he was accosted by police on arrival.

“As soon as we left the U-Bahn station nearest the venue my wife and I noticed heavy police presence in the area, including multiple vans full of police,” Barakat told The Electronic Intifada.

“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.’”

The police took Barakat and his wife to a police station where government officials handed him an eight-page document prohibiting him from political activity.

Read the full article here →