For Immediate Release

Activists Charged with Blockading Israeli-owned Beauty Shop Acquitted in Court

LONDON - Four activists
charged with aggravated trespass for blockading the Israeli-owned
cosmetics
shop, Ahava, in Covent Garden, London, in 2009, were today acquitted of
all
charges against them.

The four -Bruce
Levy, Tom Ellis, Jo Crouch and Tahir Alam Hussein, all from London - had

locked themselves to
concrete-filled oil
drums inside the shop, closing it down for a day each time in September
and
December 2009.   

They appeared at Highbury
Corner Magistrates Court, London, this week, and were acquitted this
afternoon when the primary witness for the prosecution, Ahava's store
manager,
refused to attend court to testify, despite courts summons and threats
of an
arrest warrant.

Activists have
held fortnightly demonstrations outside the Covent
Garden store throughout 2010, in protest at its complicity in the
occupation of Palestinian territory.

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The Ahava
factory, which uses mud from the Dead Sea to
make beauty products, is based in the illegal Israeli settlement of
Mitzpe
Shalem in the Palestinian West Bank. It mislabels its products ‘Dead
Sea:
Israel'.

Sarah Colborne,
director of campaigns and operations at the Palestine Solidarity
Campaign, which
supports the fortnightly protests, said: ‘Ahava is profiting from
Israel's occupation of the
West Bank, an occupation which is illegal under
international law, while also ensuring the financial survival of the
illegal
settlement in which it sits.

‘As such, it is
the owners of Ahava who should be in court, not just for their role in
helping
to cement an unlawful occupation, but for violating the Fourth Geneva
Convention
by exploiting the natural resources of an occupied territory for
profit.'

Ms Colborne
added: ‘We call on all people of conscience to join a mass protest
outside Ahava
this Saturday to show that no court action will deter us from
highlighting
Ahava's abuses of international law.'

Ahava has been
the subject of worldwide protests, including in the United States,
Holland and within Israel itself.

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PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from many communities across Britain, and increasingly throughout the world. PSC represents people in Britain from all faiths and political parties, who have come together to work for peace and justice for the Palestinian people.  PSC is opposed to all forms of racism, including anti-Jewish prejudice.

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