NORTH Vancouver RCMP have made arrests in relation to ongoing demonstrations at an the Al Ghadir Islamic Center.
On November 18, approximately 50 protesters attended the Al Ghadir Islamic Center and disrupted a planned service. During the protest, several worshippers were spat on, threatened and assaulted. Furthermore, members of the Islamic Center have been receiving ongoing threats on social media.
Upon receiving a number of reports, North Vancouver RCMP launched several investigations. To date, two arrests have been made. One individual was arrested for uttering threats and assault. A second individual was arrested for uttering threats. The investigations continue, and more arrests are expected, police said on Tuesday.
“While the right to engage in peaceful, lawful protest is a fundamental element of democracy, any protest must abide by Canadian law and must not compromise the safety and security of citizens,” said Constable Mansoor Sahak. “We will investigate any breaches of the law and fulfil our responsibility to ensure those who are responsible are held to account.”
“Police are warning protesters that any reports of assault, property damage and intimidation will be fully investigated, and are appealing for calm in the community. Our main concerns are for the safety of the public and for the demonstrators’ rights to freedom of expression,” said Sahak. “We will not tolerate abusive and criminal behaviour.”
North Vancouver RCMP are working closely with community leaders, partner agencies and the RCMP Divisional Liaison Team (DLT) to promote lawful and peaceful protests.
In 2017, the RCMP in British Columbia created the DLT, a provincial group, to build relationships with various interest groups and communities so that they could assist in facilitating a safe environment for everyone exercising their Charter rights. The goal of the DLT is to work with all groups that are planning and conducting events so that they are able to fulfill their objectives in a safe manner.
Anyone with information on these investigations is asked to call North Vancouver RCMP at 604-985-1311.