Saturday 2 March 2024 - 21:38

UK PM Sunak's Warning on Gaza Protests Sparks Concern from Amnesty International

Story Code : 1119929
UK PM Sunak
Sunak had warned that "mob rule is replacing democratic rule," prompting Amnesty to express deep concern over potential restrictions on the right to protest.

Ilyas Nagdee, Amnesty International UK's racial justice director, emphasized that the protests, largely peaceful, are a response to the high civilian death toll in Gaza and the UK government's perceived inaction to secure an immediate ceasefire. Nagdee stressed that these protests should not be equated with extremism.

Nagdee said it was “deeply worrying” that the government wished to impose more restrictions on protests.

Amnesty’s warning comes after Sunak expressed concern about a “pattern of increasingly violent and intimidatory behavior”, while calling on police chiefs to use existing powers to crack down on threats against politicians and democratic processes.

In response, Labour MP Richard Burgon criticized Sunak, stating that the peaceful Gaza protests are not a threat to democracy but a crucial element of it. Burgon highlighted that the public's call for an immediate ceasefire, reflected in the protests, “is backed by 71% of the public”. He suggested that Sunak's attacks on the protests stem from the government's realization that it has "lost the argument."

Sunak had made his remarks in an impromptu speech outside Number 10 Downing Street, where he warned of a "shocking increase in extremist disruption and criminality" from both Islamist and far-right groups, further fueling the debate over the handling of protests related to the Israeli war on Gaza that has led to the killing of at least 30,320 people.