Met Police deny 'Hamas is terrorist' protester was arrested over placard at Palestine march

The man holding the poster was arrested by Met Police (@RadoClub/X)
The man holding the poster was arrested by Met Police (@RadoClub/X)

The Metropolitan Police has denied that a protester arrested at a march in London was cuffed because his sign said 'Hamas is terrorist'.

Niyak Ghorbani, 37, an Iranian counter-protester was at the centre of a brawl amid predominantly peaceful scenes on Saturday in the city centre.

Video of him being arrested was shared on social media but the Met has said on X that he was not taken in because of the message he was carrying, which had raised tempers of protesters around him.

Footage on social media shows a scuffle between Mr Ghorbani and three or four others, before Mr Ghorbani is shown being taken away by police officers.

Scotland Yard confirmed the man was de-arrested after a review.

The UK government states that Hamas is a terrorist organisation.

A statement, shared on Sunday on Twitter, read: “A video has been posted [on Twitter] alleging officers arrested a man for having an anti-Hamas placard.

“This is not accurate. He was arrested after an altercation was ongoing and officers intervened to prevent a breach of the peace. He was arrested for assault.

“Officers then fully reviewed the footage of the incident and he was later dearrested.

“The arrest was not made in relation to the placard.”

Mr Ghorbani later told the Mail on Sunday: “I think the police are totally wrong. It is a total double standard. It is one rule for the Palestinian protesters and another for me. It is hypocrisy.”

Five were arrested in the march as thousands of pro-Palestine supporters walked through central London on Saturday.

Two men were arrested for allegedly chanting offensive slogans, while a woman was detained for allegedly holding an offensive placard.

Among those present at the march was the singer Charlotte Church, who said she joined the protest to "show solidarity with the people of Palestine for all that they are suffering through".

It has been revealed the cost of policing Gaza-related protests in London has reached a figure north of £32 million.

The operation has required 35,464 officer shifts and more than 5,200 officer rest days to be cancelled, the Metropolitan Police said.