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Teacher charged for depicting PM Rishi Sunak, Suella Braverman as coconut

A teacher will appear in court next month after she was pictured carrying a placard featuring Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman as coconuts at a pro-Palestinian march in central London.

Marieha Hussain, 37, of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, is charged with a racially aggravated public order offence.

Hussain, who grew up in her family’s £2 million detached home in Great Missenden, is due before Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on June 26.

During the rally last November, she raised her poster depicting the faces of the Prime Minister and former Home Secretary Braverman alongside coconuts under a tree on a beach.

Reference to coconuts can be considered a racist slur as it implies a person has betrayed their race

Days later, the Metropolitan Police posted an image of Hussain announcing she was being hunted in relation to a hate crime.

Reference to coconuts can be considered a racist slur as it implies a person has betrayed their race.

In an interview before she was charged, Al Jazeera reported Hussain commenting: “I had no idea that our word, ‘coconut’, would be hijacked by a demographic that doesn’t use these words and then used against me to criminalise me.

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“Being a woman of colour and a Muslim coupled with my deep criticism of our government aiding and abetting a genocide against the Palestinian people, these factors combined have made me the perfect scapegoat for far-right ideologies.”

Scotland Yard said: “Marieha Hussain, 37, of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, has been charged with a racially aggravated public order offence in relation to a placard carried during a demonstration in central London on Saturday November 14, 2023.

“She was charged by postal requisition on Friday, May 10 and will appear at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, June 26.”

A black councillor in Bristol who called an Asian opponent a “coconut” during a debate in 2010 is believed to be the first person to be convicted of a criminal offence for using the term.

Shirley Brown was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £620 in costs.

Source: Evening Standard

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