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Scotland Yard: ‘Lifting Hezbollah’s Flags in Ashura Violates the Law’ - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London- Scotland Yard police continues the investigation it has launched on lifting the so-called “Hezbollah” flags by a number of demonstrators who marked Ashura Day on Wednesday, October 12.

Asharq Al-Awsat received a statement issued by Scotland Yard on Friday saying: “By the virtue of Section 13 of the Terrorism Act 2000, whoever shows a flag or any other instrument in public place, aiming at raising doubts on his/her affiliation or support for an outlawed group, is considered to have committed a crime.”

Meanwhile, sources close to Scotland Yard said that the investigation officers are still investigating the incident and are seeking to receive more photographs and films from independent sources in Ashura this year.

Head of the Muslim Association of Britain, Dr. Omar el-Hamdoon told Asharq al-Awsat: “It would have been much better if the commemoration was kept in its frame of religious practices, away from Hezbollah flags which were unfitting and only fueled division among the Muslim community.”

El-Hamdoon said it was important to keep sectarian feuds away from religious events and from the British community.

Director of London’s Al-Maqreze Center for Historical Studies Hani Sibai told Asharq Al-Awsat that Hezbollah was hoisting the party’s flags in London to “compensate for their losses in Syria, its dismay in Yemen and its alignment with Russia against the innocent Syrians.”

Sibai said: “Shi’ites believe that Sunnis are the sons of those who had killed al-Hussein; therefore, they are also trafficking in religion every year by inciting unrest during religious commemorations, which is unacceptable.”

“Police have got to know that Hezbollah flag will be lifted in the march, Head of the Islamic Observatory Center Yasser al-Seri told Asharq Al-Awsat in a phone call.

Al-Seri said: “The hoisting of Hezbollah slogans during the procession was supposed to be reported to the police or any organizer from the Ashura march.”

Al-Seri added that all the protests are usually filmed by Scotland Yard in order to save the pictures of participating activists within the activities of combating terrorism or to prepare a security archive for the future.

He also confirmed that lifting Hezbollah’s flag by the virtue of British laws falls under the penalty of anti-terrorism laws.