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Prosecutions against 4 animal rights activists from "Sogrot" group in Israel

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The Academic College Tel-Aviv – Jaffa and 3 of its position holders demand the Tel Aviv District Court to issue a restraining order against 4 animal rights activists that will prevent them from demonstrating in front of their houses, restrict their freedom of movement and to require them to pay all legal expenses. In addition, they ask to censor the group's website.
This prosecution is an outrageous attempt of the College's management and the people in its head, to use their public and economic power to hurt the freedom of expression and movement of those fighting for justice for those that their voice is not heard, and to shut the protest against their responsibility for the real hideous violence – their intention to open an experiment lab where hundreds of animals will be tortured and killed every year.

In the statement of claim presented by The Academic College Tel-Aviv – Jaffa, Nehemia Friedland (chairman of the college), Yair Orgler (former chairman and member of the governing council of the college) and Zohar Zisapel (current chairman of the governing council of the college, and CO of RAD company which donates to the college), the plaintiffs demand to issue a restraining order against 4 animal rights activists that will prevent them from demonstrating in front of their houses as part of an ongoing campaign against the opening of animal experiments laboratory in the college, and to require them to pay all legal expenses of the plaintiff and their lawyers' fee. In addition, they ask to censor the group's website – www.sogrot.org/english.php (view also the Hebrew part for more updates on activities).

In the statement of claim that was handed on May 7th, the petitioners blame the 4 as responsible for "illegal activity" against them, "participation in violent, wild and loud demonstrations" in front of their houses, and responsible for "vandalism, incitement, harassment and libel".

The right to demonstrate is the legal right of each one of us, and acknowledged by the Israeli law. Vigils, such as the ones that hold against the lab, do not require any approval from the police or any other body.

By accusing the activists with vandalism, the plaintiffs refer to an action in which the word "murderer" was spray painted 7 times on Nehemia Friedland's car while it was parked outside his house. It's important to mention that there is no evidence against the accused regarding their involvement in the action (as stated also in Friedland's statement to the court) and "Sogrot" had published in public that this action was not carried out by the group or in its name.

This prosecution is an outrageous attempt of the College's management and the people in its head, to use their public and economic power to hurt the freedom of expression and movement of those fighting for justice for those that their voice is not heard, and to shut the protest against their responsibility for the real hideous violence – their intention to open an experiment lab where hundreds of animals will be tortured and killed each year.

In our eyes this only proves that the protest against them is right as well as affective and we see more of a reason to continue to speak up against the actions of those who don't hesitate to use their power to hurt animals and their right for freedom, and hurt the right for freedom of expression and movement of other people.

It's not the lives, safety or property of the prosecutors that is in danger, but the image they are trying to create for themselves and their only fear is that the truth about their brutality will be revealed. It's not coincidental that the lab is being built in the basement of the College, far from the eyes of the students to see the horrors, and far from their ears to hear the cries of the animals.

This case has much importance to the continuance of the campaign to stop the lab and regarding the right to freedom of expression and protest in general and of animal rights activists in particular.

We call out to all of you to support our friends for the struggle fighting for all of our freedom of speech, and more important support the campaign to stop the lab and the right of all creatures to live a life free from suffering and exploitation.

"Sogrot" will continue to act in legitimate and legal ways to bring to stop all animal exploitation and abuse. The campaign, which is only gaining momentum, will not be stopped because of a threat on 4 activists' civil rights. We intend to use this trial and turn it into the trial of the lab, when the vivisectors and those responsible for the opening of the lab will take the stand.

Until all are free.

sogrot_il@yahoo.com

Related

http://www.sogrot.org

http://www.sogrot.org/english.php

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