Three individuals found culpable for committing a terrorist offense relating to paraglider pictures during a Palestine demonstration in the UK.

Photos showcased at the London demonstration a week following the Hamas militants’ assault on Israel on October 7th of the previous year.

Three individuals who exhibited pictures of paragliders during a pro-Palestinian rally in central London shortly after the Hamas militants engaged in a violent spree in Israel have been convicted of a terrorist offense.

Heba Alhayek, 29, Pauline Ankunda, 26, and Noimutu Olayinka Taiwo, 27, were each handed a 12-month conditional discharge.

Deputy Senior District Judge Tan Ikram informed them: “You went beyond the limit, but it would have been fair to say that emotions ran very high on this matter. You have learned your lesson well.”

The judge also stated that the trio had not intended to show support for Hamas.

Alhayek and Ankunda affixed paraglider images to their backs using tape, while Taiwo attached one to the handle of a placard.

The images were displayed on October 14, 2023, a week after Hamas militants used paragliders to infiltrate Israel from Gaza on October 7th. The attack resulted in the death of approximately 1,200 Israelis, with around 240 individuals being abducted and taken to Gaza.

The three protesters were charged under the Terrorism Act for carrying or displaying an item that aroused reasonable suspicion of their support for the banned organization, Hamas, a charge they denied.

Following a two-day trial at Westminster Magistrates Court, the three were found guilty on Tuesday, after prosecutors argued that the defendants displaying the images so soon after the attack was “no coincidence.”

Ikram stated: “Seven days earlier, Hamas used paragliders to enter Israel, as described by the media. A reasonable person would have seen and read about that. I do not believe a reasonable person would perceive the image solely as a symbol of freedom.”

The judge clarified that there was no evidence indicating that the defendants were Hamas supporters or sought to express support for them.

Ikram decided not to impose punishment and instead granted each of the defendants a 12-month conditional discharge.

In response to the verdict, the Crown Prosecution Service argued that displaying the images amounted to the “glorification of the actions” of Hamas.

The lawyers for the three individuals suggested that they were actually showcasing images of a parachute emoji rather than paragliders and claimed that the police had “misinterpreted” what they saw on that day.

During a social media appeal by the Metropolitan Police to identify the protesters, Alhayek and Ankunda surrendered themselves to Croydon police station.

In a police interview, the pair initially stated that someone unknown to them had attached the images to their backs. However, they later changed their statements and admitted that they had affixed the images themselves, according to the court’s testimony.

When Taiwo was arrested and interviewed under caution, she claimed that she had been handed the placard and had not paid close attention to the “blurry image” it displayed, the court heard.

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