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MPs and campaigners call for probe into judge’s decision ‘not to punish’ pro-Palestine protesters with paraglider stickers after he likes anti-Israel post


  • Senior district judge Tan Ikram says he accidentally liked the video on LinkedIn 
  • Let three women convicted of a pro-Hamas terror offence walk free on Tuesday

A judge’s decision ‘not to punish’ pro-Palestine protesters displaying paraglider stickers should be revisited after he ‘accidentally’ liked an anti-Israeli post online, MPs and campaigners have said.

Tan Ikram, who is a deputy senior district judge, says he accidentally liked a video on LinkedIn claiming ‘justice will be coming’ to Israelis.

It came to light a day after he let three women convicted of a pro-Hamas terror offence walk free from Westminster Magistrates’ Court, saying he had decided not to jail them and noting emotions over the conflict in the Middle East ‘ran very high’.

Heba Alhayek, 29, Pauline Ankunda, 26, and Noimutu Olayinka Taiwo, 27, displayed paraglider stickers on a London march on October 14 last year, only seven days after Hamas launched their attack, which had included use of paragliders.

MPs said their 12-month conditional discharge sentence should be revisited in light of the social media ‘like’. The offence, convicted under the Terrorism Act 2000, carries a maximum jail term of six months.

Tan Ikram, who is a deputy senior district judge, says he accidentally liked a video on LinkedIn claiming 'justice will be coming' to Israelis

Tan Ikram, who is a deputy senior district judge, says he accidentally liked a video on LinkedIn claiming ‘justice will be coming’ to Israelis

The post was by barrister Sham Uddin who had previously promoted conspiracy theories claiming that Israel allowed the October 7 attack

The post was by barrister Sham Uddin who had previously promoted conspiracy theories claiming that Israel allowed the October 7 attack

Downing Street said it had referred the case to the Attorney General. A source said: ‘Serious questions are being raised in Government on how a judge who liked this post was able to preside over this landmark case and what this means for the sentencing decision. It’s deeply troubling.’

And former attorney general and home secretary Suella Braverman said: ‘With anti-Semitism at an all-time high, judges must be impartial and beyond reproach.’

Claudia Mendoza, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, described the sentence as ‘woefully inadequate’ and the judge’s remarks as ‘extremely surprising’.

There were no complaints made during the trial over the judge’s handling of the case.

Defence lawyers had argued parachutes were a general symbol of liberation in Palestinian art, but the judge rejected this, saying he was ‘sure’ the reference had been to the Hamas attack.

Judge Ikram said in his sentencing remarks: ‘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.’

He handed the three women conditional discharges, which means they will be treated more harshly if convicted of another offence in the next 12 months.

Defence lawyers had argued parachutes were a general symbol of liberation in Palestinian art, but the judge rejected this, saying he was 'sure' the reference had been to the Hamas attack

Defence lawyers had argued parachutes were a general symbol of liberation in Palestinian art, but the judge rejected this, saying he was ‘sure’ the reference had been to the Hamas attack

The video he ‘liked’ was captioned: ‘Free free Palestine. To the Israeli terrorist both in the United Kingdom, the United States, and of course Israel you can run, you can bomb but you cannot hide – justice will be coming for you.’

A judiciary spokesman said on behalf of the judge: ‘He didn’t know he had liked the post. If he did, it was a genuine mistake.’ He could face disciplinary action if found to have ignored the Guide to Judicial Conduct, stating judges ‘should be aware of the risk of undermining trust and confidence in the judiciary by expressing, or appearing to endorse, views which could cast doubt on their objectivity’.

A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said the sentence was not eligible for review as it was not made in a crown court.

A CPS spokesman said: ‘We are carefully considering any future actions in relation to this case.’



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