LONDON — The Metropolitan Police Service in London has agreed to pay the equivalent of $3,000 U.S. dollars to a street preacher who was arrested in February as he refused to leave after an offended man called police to claim that the preacher was being “Islamophobic.” After being freed, the preacher was driven out of the area and dropped off at a bus stop, where he would have been stranded if a good Samaritan had not paid for his ticket.
The Christian Legal Centre, which offered assistance to Oluwole Ilesanmi, pastor of Redeemed Christian Church of God, had written a pre-action letter to the police regarding the violation of the preacher’s rights. The Metropolitan Police Service consequently agreed to pay the pastor damages for claims of false imprisonment, humiliation and mental trauma.
Ilesanmi will also deliver a petition on Tuesday to Home Secretary Priti Patel and London Mayor Sadiq Khan in asking the government to work to protect street preachers and the freedom of speech. The petition has generated over 40,000 signatures as of press time.
A letter will additionally be delivered to Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, which is also being sent to every chief constable in the U.K, requesting specialized training on the rights of street preachers.
“Many street preachers have found themselves in trouble. This has included being arrested, and prosecuted, despite the law recognizing their rights to both manifest and express their religious beliefs,” the letter reads.
“None of the clients we have
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