Family of radical preacher Abu Qatada wins injunction preventing protests outside their home

 

The family of radical preacher Abu Qatada has won an injunction preventing protesters from demonstrating outside their home.

His wife and five children were granted an "anti-harassment" order by a High Court judge in London.

Mr Justice Silber also granted them an injunction against various protest groups which is aimed at preventing the misuse of private information.

The judge stressed that his decision did not prevent organisations from protesting against Qatada, provided demonstrations take place more than 500 metres from the London house where they are living.

He said evidence showed that the claimants, including two children under the age of 16, "have suffered extreme distress and upset" by the actions of demonstrators outside their address.

The judge pointed out that Qatada, whose real name is Omar Othman, was not a party to the proceedings.

He emphasised that the case was not concerned with whether "Omar Othman should still be in this country or whether he should be in prison in this country" and was also not concerned with whether he or his family "should be provided with a house financed by the United Kingdom taxpayers".

It was accepted "that it is perfectly legitimate" for there to be protests about his presence in the country and about the house provided to his family.

The injunctions granted today continued earlier orders made by another High Court judge earlier this month.

Home Secretary Theresa May's appeal against a decision to allow Qatada to stay in the UK is due to be heard on March 11.

Three Court of Appeal judges will hear the challenge, which follows a ruling by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) that Qatada should not be deported to Jordan, where he was convicted of terror charges in his absence in 1999.

The court action for injunctions was brought against a number of groups, including English National Resistance, Britain First and the English Defence League, as well as against "persons unknown who are intending to assemble outside the home" of the claimants.

Mr Justice Silber said the family did not seek to prevent demonstrations more than 500m from the house.

Such protests directly outside had "terrified" the family, particularly the younger children.

The judge said he accepted the evidence presented on their behalf that, while demonstrations were taking place, they were "effectively prisoners in their own home".

What had been shown by the attitude of the defendants "is that they aim to cause as much misery, not only to Omar Othman, but also to his family".

There was "powerful evidence" from the claimants of weekly demonstrations "with much shouting of abuse" such as "Abu Qatada off our streets", "All Muslims are terrorists" and "Just murder him" - with chanting and shouting lasting for up to six hours.

The judge said the defendants constituted a collection of groups "hostile" to Qatada.

In opposing the injunctions, they argued that the orders would interfere with their rights under the European Convention on Human rights - in relation to freedom of thought, expression, and of assembly and association.

Rejecting their case, the judge pointed out that each of those rights "is qualified in the sense that they do not apply in certain circumstances such as where they interfere with the rights of others".

As well as the "anti-harassment" order, he granted a second injunction restraining the defendants from communicating or disclosing personal matters relating to the wife and children, such as their address, names, names of schools, and also images of them.

Their case was that if the defendants were allowed to communicate such information it was likely to result in further harassment.

A previous court order already prohibited the release of Qatada's address into the public domain.

Last year, Siac judges ruled that evidence from Qatada's former co-defendants, Abu Hawsher and Al-Hamasher, said to have been obtained by torture, could be used against him in a retrial.

They said: "The Secretary of State has not satisfied us that, on a retrial, there is no real risk that the impugned statements of Abu Hawsher and Al-Hamasher would be admitted probatively against the appellant."

Mrs May immediately pledged to appeal and told the Commons that Jordan had given assurances about its legal processes.

She described Qatada as "a dangerous man, a suspected terrorist, who is accused of serious crime in his home country of Jordan".

Qatada was granted bail following the ruling and released from HMP Long Lartin.

He has fought deportation for more than a decade.

PA

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

ICT Teacher

£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a qualified ...

DT Design and Technology Teacher

£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are urgently for ...

Maths Teacher

£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experienc...

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on