Overzealous Bern Police come to aid Saudi Tyranny Regime

Bern. On Frieday, 12h June 2015 six individuals placed themselves in front of the Saudi Embassy in Bern and held up a banner with the following message:

HAZEM BIN MOHAMMED KARKATILI, AMBASSADOR OF SAUDI ARABIA
HELP TO FREE RAIF BADAWI &
 WALEED ABULKHAIR
OR GO HOME AND DON’T COME BACK!

The protest was purposely carried out as a silent vigil, as it targeted the ambassador and his staff, not the local residents, and was a reaction to last week’s decision by the Saudi High Court against Raif Badawi. The flogging of the Saudi human rights activist is now likely to continue, and he was expected to receive the second round of lashes on Friday.

After less than 15 minutes four members of the Embassy protection unit of the Bernese Police appeared with two vehicles, demanded the “illegal demonstration” to end, registered the six protesters and confiscated the banner – a wholly disproportionate intervention.

The Swiss Freethinkers, who organised the vigil, are disappointed that the assumed desideratum of the Saudi ambassador, not to be incommodated by unpopular expressions of opinion was given more weight than the right of free speech of members of the public. The Freethinkers will examine the lawfulness of the acts of the Embassy protection unit, particularly the confiscation of property, not least because in Bern the right of freedom of expression, including the right to demonstrate had been violated in an unconstitutional manner repeatedly in the past. (See reports in German by grundrechte.ch and Berner Zeitung).