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A man accused of ;incitement to hatred; he allegedly “waving a terrorist flag”” /></p>
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<p class=Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw. (Archives)

Radio-Canada

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Toronto police announced , Thursday, that a man had been charged with public incitement to hatred “for brandishing a terrorist flag” during a pro-Palestine demonstration.

On Sunday, Maged Sameh Hilal Al Khalaf, 41, of Toronto, was arrested and charged after allegedly participating in a protest near the intersection of Queen Street West and Bay Street by waving the flag of an organization listed on the list of terrorist groups established by Public Safety Canada, we read in the press release published Thursday.

The police then decided to keep quiet the name of the group in question. Additionally, during a press briefing Thursday, Toronto Police Service Chief Myron Demkiw refused to name the group or describe the flag in question.

However, on Friday, Mr. Demkiw changed his mind. In an interview on CBC radio, the police chief revealed that it was a flag of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The goals of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), founded in 1967, are the destruction of the State of Israel and the establishment of a communist government in Palestine. on the Public Safety Canada website (New window). The entity was included on the list in November 2003, it is specified.

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Mr. Demkiw explained why he initially decided to withhold the name of the group in question.

Which I am very aware of, it& #x27;is to not inadvertently do anything that might promote or send a message that these kinds of images are trying to send. I did not want to show the image of the flag in any way. I will take steps not to do this.

What concerns us and what we allege is that this individual displayed this flag and that this constitutes proof of public incitement to hatred under the penal code, Mr. Demkiw said in an interview.

Public incitement to hatred

319 (1) Whoever, by communicating statements in a public place, incites hatred against an identifiable group, where such incitement is likely to result in a breach of the peace, is guilty:

a) is an indictable offense and punishable by imprisonment for a maximum of two years;

b) an offense punishable on summary conviction.

Source: Criminal Code of Canada (New window)

During Thursday's press briefing, Demkiw said there was no precedent for such an accusation and that there is a threshold very high to charge anyone with such an offense.

The accused is scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto on April 23 February.

With information from CBC

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