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A Christian evangelist who was taken down by English police at London’s famed Speakers’ Corner has gotten an apology and some $11,300 in damages for her arrest there.
The Christian Legal Center said London’s Metropolitan force admitted it “fell below standards” after it arrested Hatun Tash, a well-known Christian evangelist who regularly critiques and debates the Quran and Islam at Speakers’ Corner, not once but twice.
The center reported Tash, of Defend Christ Critique Islam, with 700,000 YouTube followers, was assaulted, abused and harassed by Islamic men over her T-shirt, which had a picture of Muhammad.
The report said police told the harassers to leave the park, but they responded by telling to police to go away, and officers instead of dealing with those harassing the evangelist “told her she would be arrested if she argued with them.”
Their charge was “breaching the peace.”
They also cited under the “Public Order Act 1986.”
She was held for 24 hours and released.
“Supported by the Christian Legal Center, Miss Tash challenged the arrests on the grounds of wrongful arrest and unlawful imprisonment. Her lawyers said that it was ‘abundantly clear’ that she should not have been arrested,” the center said.
“Just because it was believed that it was operationally necessary to arrest our client, that is not what should have happened. The police should have protected her free speech by bringing more officers to Speakers Corner to facilitate her rights. It follows that her safety would have been protected,” her lawyers argued.
The center also documented, “Two months later in July 2021, Miss Tash was stabbed in front of police at the same location by a man in a black Islamic robe in broad daylight. No arrest has ever been made.”
The center also said, “The police have now also apologized to Miss Tash for wrongfully arresting her on December 2020, again at Speakers’ Corner. In this instance, police officers used the excuse of coronavirus regulations to detain her after she encouraged officers not to hinder another preacher’s right to free speech.”
A statement from Inspector Andy O’Donnell, of the Directorate of Professional Standards, said, “Whilst the MPS constantly strives to maintain the highest professional standards, incidents occasionally arise when the level of service falls below that standard. I have considered the background to your claim and am satisfied that on these occasions the level of service did fall below the requisite standard. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to you for the distress that you have suffered as a consequence of these incidents.”
Tash confirmed she donated the payment to the Christian Legal Center.
“I believe Jesus Christ is the good news for Muslims, the police and the world. Police need to protect my rights as l tell others this good news. My hope is that many Muslims will come to faith in Jesus,” she said.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the center, pointed out such admissions are rare.
“Hatun is a fearless and passionate woman who loves Jesus and who has love and compassion for people from all backgrounds who she debates with and wants to reach with the gospel, which has transformed her life.”
She sustained injuries to her arm and face, and was treated at a hospital.
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