Two animal rights activists have been charged with "illegal gathering"
in Petah-Tikva, Israel following an arrest in December 2006 for
holding a vigil outside the offices of Israel's largest pharmaceutical
company, TEVA, a client of Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS). The vigil
followed two large demonstrations against the company that day.
According to sources, the two women, both minors at the time of the
arrest, and a third person acting as a photographer but not actually
participating in the demonstration were stopped from continuing the
demo by police. The third person was arrested in order to allow police
to be able to declare the demo as illegal since, according to Israeli
law there must be a minimum of 3 people to allow police to qualify a
demonstration as illegal.
"This is an absurd accusation since they were the only participants in
the small demo," activists stated in an email sent to Arkangel.
A preliminary hearing will take place next Wednesday, 21st March. A
request to have charges dropped has been sent together with a
complaint against the officers involved in the illegal arrest and the
silencing and intimidation of 2 peaceful protestors. However, it is
not known how the court will handle the matter and the activists have
been granted legal representation by the Association for Civil Rights
Activists have stated that they will hold a demonstration in front of
TEVA's office on the day of the trial "against the torture and murder
of animals in HLS laboratories, to show TEVA that having corporate
police would not intimidate activists [from] protesting against their
horrors, and also in solidarity with our friends. Since they were
minors, [they] would be tried behind closed doors."