High Court rules to lift ban on protests at Israeli drone factory

22 July 2015 - 4:30pm
Press release

The High Court today lifted a ban on protests taking place within a 250 metre 'forbidden zone' around an arms factory in Shenstone, Staffordshire.

The ban came in the form of a temporary junction granted by the court on 30 June to UAV Engines Ltd in order to prevent protests outside the factory.  Campaigners challenged the injunction in court today, claiming that it was designed to prevent people from exercising their right to free speech and protest at a factory manufacturing weapons used in human rights abuses abroad.

The factory - UAV Engines Ltd - is a subsidiary of Elbit Systems, one of Israel's largest arms companies and a producer of drones and other military technology used in Israeli military assaults on Gaza.

A court order remains in place forbidding protesters from trespassing on UAV Engines property or from harassing the company.

Responding to the court’s decision, Chris Cole of Drone Campaign Network, one of the organisations challenging the injunction, said:  "We're very pleased that the High Court has decided that the injunction sought by UAV Engines went too far and curtailed the right of legitimate and peaceful protest outside its premises.  Arms companies like UAV Engines must accept that many people have serious and legitimate objection to their activities."

Ryvka Barnard of War on Want said: “We’re pleased that the court has done the right thing and lifted this unjust ban. We will continue to assert our right to protest at factories producing weapons used in human rights abuses and war crimes.”

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

For more information contact Chris Cole on 07960 811437

The court hearing took place at 10.30am on Wednesday 22 July at Birmingham High Court, 33 Bull Street, Birmingham B4 6DS.

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