Iranian arrested for calling Hamas ‘terrorists’ gets his protest banner back

Niyak Ghorbani was pinned down by police during an anti-Israel protest earlier this month


Pro-Israel Iranian activist Niyak Gorbhani (right) being handed back his poster by Israeli Arab pro-Israel activist Yoseph Haddad (Photo: E Jacobs Photography)

An Iranian activist who was arrested at an anti-Israel march by the police, who took away his sign saying “Hamas is terrorist” [sic], has been reunited with the banner.

Niyak Ghorbani, 37, was arrested during a protest in London earlier this month. Video footage showed the police pinning him down and later walking away with the sign. The Met released a statement saying that the police had “intervened to prevent a breach of the peace”. Ghorbani was subsequently “de-arrested”.

The incident sparked outrage, with MP Robert Jenrick calling it “a chilling inversion of what law enforcement is about”.

But in an emotional moment during a talk by Yoseph Haddad, the pro-Israel Arab Israeli invited Ghorbani onto the stage, opened a large envelope and handed him back his sign.

After a long and rapturous standing ovation from some 500 audience members at Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue, Ghorbani told them: “Many Iranians inside Iran risk their lives to say: ‘We are standing with you’, not just from October 7…Hopefully soon in Israel, there will be peace and destroy Hamas [sic].”

Haddad then said: “This fighter is one of the bravest men I’ve ever met, and do you know what he said [when he got his sign back]? ‘The terrorist supporters – the protesters, not the police - they thought that they could take this sign from me, [but] I’ve got it back. See you soon.’”

Nivi Feldman, co-lead of the Hostages and Missing Families Forum in the UK, who arranged the event, told the JC: “Yoseph Haddad said he had something very special to show us tonight. He took the folded up sign out of the envelope and told us the story of his Iranian friend who got arrested for stating the obvious.

“We are so grateful to have these two friends on our side – Yoseph, who is Christian and Niyak, who is Iranian.”

Haddad has been speaking throughout the UK this week. On Tuesday, he gave a talk at Richmond Synagogue in south-west London.

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