London, UK, June 25th 2008 – This week Hizb ut-Tahrir is submitting an application to the European Court in Strasbourg seeking the ultimate overturning of the ban imposed upon all activities of Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) in Germany. Membership of the Party is not banned in Germany.
Speaking at a London Press Conference today, Shaker Assem, (HT Media Representative in German speaking countries) said, “The German government has decided it would rather subvert its own principles by banning a political group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, and prohibiting its thoughts, rather than engaging in debate or intellectually challenging it.”
“We note that the German courts did not uphold any of the German Interior Ministries accusations of anti-Semitism against HT, however, they have now relied on an obscure principle of the ‘idea of international understanding’ to ban all of our activities (speeches, study circles, articles, vigils, political meetings, books, magazines, and debates).”
“As recently as this past week the German authorities have continued their policies of harassment, arrest and intimidation of our members, consistent with the work of the unelected, tyrannical regimes throughout the Muslim world that also seek to suppress our call”.
The HT legal team* led by Keir Starmer QC has highlighted the following points in the submission:
- The silencing of HT re expression of its views publicly in Germany despite it being well known that HT is a non violent political party based on Islam.
- The refusal of the German Constitutional court to hear the German appeal of HT citing that HT is a foreign association despite the fact that many of its members are German nationals, its clear existence in Germany for several decades, and despite the fact that the lower German courts banned the activities of HT in Germany (banning the Party in one court and not recognising it in another).
- The rejection of the appeal of 21 members of HT resident in Germany, some of which have been expelled from the country and had their assets confiscated or frozen and despite several being German or EU nationals.
- Banning of activities due to the supposed non-agreement with the “idea of International understanding” a principle which is insufficiently articulated to be readily ascertained. Furthermore, to ban an organisation’s activities on this basis is wholly disproportionate.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is a non-violent political party which works for the resumption of the Islamic way of life in the Muslim world via the Khilafah (Caliphate), a system of representative and accountable governance based on the Islamic Shariah. In the West, Hizb ut-Tahrir works to cultivate a Muslim community that lives by Islam in thought and deed, adhering to the rules of Islam and preserving a strong Islamic identity. The party also works to project a positive image of Islam to Western society and engages in dialogue with Western thinkers, policymakers and academics.
Notes to Editors:
1) Legal Team* Keir Starmer QC (Doughty Street Chambers) Matthew Ryder, Keiron Beal (both of Matrix Chambers) and Tayab Ali (McCormacks Solicitors)
Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain
Phone: + 44 (0)7074-192400