BERLIN — Palestinian-Canadian journalist Khaled Barakat was barred from speaking at a Palestine solidarity event in Berlin, and has been told to avoid all gatherings of more than 10 people or face a prison sentence.
Barakat, an activist who was invited to speak to an Arab community event in Berlin on June 22 to discuss Palestinian liberation and its implications for other Arab communities, was banned because of alleged “anti-Semitic” speeches that “posed a threat to public order” and could undermine relations between the country and Israel, a report from Electronic Intifada said.
Barakat was also scheduled to speak on President Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ for Palestine, which critics have derided as not doing nearly enough to help actual Palestinians. He was accosted by police upon arrival.
“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.
“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.’”
After arriving at a police station with his wife, officials handed him an eight-page document prohibiting him from political activity.
He has been banned from attending any public event in Berlin, and even from attending meetings and gatherings, and must avoid social events of “more than 10 people” or face a one-year prison sentence.
Despite the major setback, Barakat remains unfazed.
“I firmly believe that the vast majority of people in Germany support justice for the Palestinian people and reject Israeli war crimes and apartheid, but they live in fear and I understand.”