Leading discrimination lawyer, Yasin Patel firmly asserts that the right to free speech includes the ability to criticise government actions and express views on matters of moral concern. He emphasises, “The mere display of the Palestinian flag does not equate to supporting Hamas; it signifies support for the struggle of the Palestinian people to secure basic human rights and the right to live in the internationally recognised state of Palestine.”
Drawing on the example of Nelson Mandela, who was unjustly labelled a terrorist by international governments for decades while fighting against an oppressive regime, Patel underscores the importance of supporting the Palestinian people in their quest for basic human rights. He makes a resounding distinction, stating, “Hamas is not synonymous with Palestine, and Palestine is not synonymous with Hamas.”
Addressing the concerns raised by the Home Secretary regarding displays of support for Palestine, Patel maintains that “Carrying the Palestinian flag is a symbol of solidarity with the Palestinian people’s legitimate struggle for basic human rights and their right to live in the recognised state of Palestine.”
Yasin Patel’s response to the Home Secretary’s letter underscores the delicate balance between addressing security concerns and upholding the fundamental rights of free speech and expression, as enshrined in international human rights conventions. He advocates for a measured approach that respects the principles of democracy, justice, and the rule of law.