UK Must Justify Hezbollah Ban Expansion – Labor Party

By Staff, Agencies

UK’s opposition Labor Party stressed on Tuesday that Home Secretary Sajid Javid had to provide evidence to justify his decision to widen a ban on Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement.

Britain said on Monday it plans to ban what it referred to as ‘all wings of Hezbollah due to its destabilizing influence in the Middle East’, branding the resistance movement as a ‘terrorist organization.’

“The Home Secretary must therefore now demonstrate that this decision was taken in an objective and impartial way, and driven by clear and new evidence, not by his leadership ambitions,” a Labor spokesman said.

Asked about the comments, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said it was for Labor to explain their decision.

“Hezbollah itself has publicly denied a distinction between its military and political wings,” the spokesman said.

The British ban, which will come into force on Friday subject to parliament’s approval, means anyone who is a member of Hezbollah or invites support ‘will be committing a criminal offense with a potential sentence of up to 10 years in jail.’

Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn has previously been criticized for his approach to Hezbollah, whose members he once termed friends. The remark is regularly seized upon by opponents for criticism.

Hezbollah was already considered a ‘terrorist organization’ by ‘Israel,’ the US and members of the Arab League.

In 2013, the European Union placed Hezbollah’s ‘military wing’ on its ‘terror list,’ and London had proscribed the group’s external security unit and its military wing in 2001 and 2008 respectively. Now, the UK plans to add the ‘political arm’ to that list too.

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