The social media activity of the judge in case of three women who displayed images of a paraglider in an anti-Israel protest may suggests possible bias.
Heba Alhayek, 29, Pauline Ankunda, 26, and Noimutu Olayinka Taiwo, 27, were given twelve-month conditional discharges at Westminster Magistrates’ Court yesterday after being convicted of terrorism offences.
Ms Alhayek and Ms Ankunda attached images of paragliders to their backs; Ms Olayinka attached such an image to the handle of a placard.
They were arrested and charged with carrying or displaying an article to arouse reasonable suspicion that they are supporters of the proscribed antisemitic genocidal terrorist organisation, Hamas.
Deputy Senior District Judge Tan Ikram reportedly said that there was nothing to suggest the group were supporters of Hamas, but, he added, “seven days earlier, Hamas went into Israel with what was described by the media as paragliders. A reasonable person would have seen and read that. I do not find a reasonable person would interpret the image merely as a symbol of freedom. You’ve not hidden the fact you were carrying these images. You crossed the line, but it would have been fair to say that emotions ran very high on this issue. Your lesson has been well learnt. I do not find you were seeking to show any support for Hamas.” He concluded that he had “decided not to punish” the trio.
Campaign Against Antisemitism can reveal that Judge Ikram’s social media activity may suggest bias (see picture below), and we are exploring legal options.
We are also looking at submitting a complaint to the Bar Standards Board in relation to barrister and political candidate Sham Uddin, over his social media output.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Deputy Senior District Judge Tan Ikram’s social media activity suggests to us that there may be grounds to set aside his ruling in the case in which he decided ‘not to punish’ three women found guilty of terrorism offences, on the basis of actual or apparent bias. We are sharing our findings with the Crown Prosecution Service, which may wish to appeal the verdict, and we are considering various legal options. We are also submitting a complaint to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office.”