Huntingdon Life Sciences: Call out for solidarity statements for the Blackmail 3 (UK)

From Bristol ABC:

A local comrade is facing conspiracy to blackmail charges relating to the animal testing laboratories, Huntingdon Life Sciences. Her trial is set to begin February 12th, while the two others charged in the case are awaiting extradition to the UK from Holland. As you are all probably aware, the state has come down very hard on the animal rights campaign and your solidarity is needed.

Statements of solidarity are really appreciated and can be emailed to: info@blackmail3.org

More info about the case: http://blackmail3.org/index.html


Below is a bit more information about their case:

People believed to be campaigning to close down the world’s third largest animal testing facility; Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), have repeatedly been subjected to arrest and harassment.

On the morning of 6th July 2012, several teams of police raided the homes and business premises of three people arresting them on suspicion of “conspiracy to blackmail”, in relation to animal testing laboratory, Huntingdon Life Sciences. The person in the UK is accused of committing this between 2001-2011 and the 2 people in Holland between November 2008-December 2010. In recent years this charge has been deliberately used against campaigners due to its good conviction rate and because it carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison. This is the third UK conspiracy to blackmail trial involving people accused of campaigning against HLS.

One set of raids took place in London, while the others took place at two locations in Amsterdam. Two people in Amsterdam were arrested with a European arrest warrant, and after a week in prison they were released on strict bail conditions, having surrendered their passports. They now await extradition to the UK. The third defendant, in London, was bailed the following evening and also has many restrictive bail conditions.

During the Dutch raids, police forced entry into a shared office space, removing computers, electronic devices and paperwork belonging to a variety of campaign groups. This is on top of a huge amount of items taken from the suspects’ homes, which included cameras, printers, storage devices and several laptops.

On 21st September 2012 another person was also raided and arrested in the UK, but their charges were eventually dropped on 19th March 2013.

The defendant in the UK is due to go on trial on 12th February 2014, with the trial set to last for about 4 weeks. However, because the extradition of the two people from Holland could take some time, their trial will be delayed until a later date.

This most recent case reflects the ongoing attempts by the UK authorities to criminalise and stop the effective and persistent targeting of HLS. Huntingdon have once again clicked their fingers to order a round-up of people they believe are affecting their business.

In an atmosphere of increasing repression against activists and the criminalisation of effective campaigns, it is important that we show our solidarity for those involved and form a strong network of support for the animal rights movement in the UK.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 at 2:17 pm and is filed under Eco Struggle.