German authorities prevented 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.
Khaled Barakat 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. He 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.
“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. But, he was accosted by police on arrival.
He added that “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.
The document, issued by the Berlin Foreigners Registration Office and seen by The Electronic Intifada, states in German that Barakat faces a ban on participating in specific events and a general “limit on your political activity until you leave the Federal Republic of Germany.” “They [representatives of the foreigners office] told me that I am banned from speaking at any public event in Berlin and even attending meetings and gatherings,” Barakat said.
He said that he was also ordered to avoid social events of “more than 10 people,” or face a one-year prison sentence.Barakat’s wife is also a Palestinian rights activist, but not Palestinian and she was not banned. “After I was told to acknowledge that I had received the document we were released from the police station. We also noticed significant police presence on the way home,” Barakat added.
Source: IMEMC news