University of Sussex student arrested by counter-terrorism police for praising Hamas

A student at the University of Sussex was arrested by counter-terrorism police after she gave a speech at a pro-Hamas celebration, in which she called the terrorist attacks on Israel "beautiful and inspiring."

Hanin Barghouti, 22, who is an elected student union officer at the University, was arrested on Thursday on suspicious of supporting Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah, otherwise known as Hamas, which is a violation of Section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000, according to police documents.

Barghouti, who identifies as Palestinian, is accused of giving a speech in which she praised the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel saying, "Yesterday was a victory. For freedom fighters to break out of a 15-year blockade so successfully under the inhuman genocide of Israel was so beautiful and inspiring to see."

"It shows the world that we will always fight and always resist and we need to celebrate these acts of resistance because this was a success. Revolutionary violence initiated by Palestinians is not terrorism - it is self-defense," she said.

The comments were made within hours after Hamas terrorists invaded Israel at daybreak on Saturday and slaughtered more than one thousand civilian and military men, when, and children in the most heinous act of terrorism Israel has seen since 1973.

Sussex police say Barghouti has since been bailed out of jail and are asking the public for more information surrounding the celebration that took place, which was organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign on Saturday.

Superintendent Petra Lazar from Sussex Police said: “After reviewing footage from the protest event held in Brighton on Sunday 8 October, the matter was investigated by Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE). We will continue to support them as they conduct their investigation."

"We are aware that the ongoing conflict in Israel and the border with Gaza is generating public concern and is impacting communities globally and locally, and we extend our support to those affected in Sussex," Lazar continued. "Sussex Police has increased visibility across parts of Sussex to provide an increased presence and reassurance to our local communities. We recognize there is the potential for increased tensions and are engaging and working with communities and partners to ensure people feel safe and protected."

"Anyone who experiences threatening behavior or is worried about their safety is urged to contact police," Lazar concluded.

A spokesman for the University of Sussex released a statement indicating that they are investigating the issue but stated they cannot provide ample details due to it being an active police investigation.

"Following comments made by a student at a demonstration in Brighton on October 8, 2023, the university initiated an investigation, in line with our procedures. The university takes very seriously our obligations to support students and staff and to provide a safe and secure environment in which to work, live, and study, and will continue to take action to this end," the spokesman said, according to Daily Mail.

"This case is now a live counter-terrorism police investigation and as such it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this point," they concluded.

Sussex police are asking for witnesses to come forward.

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