Pro-Palestine protest outside Aberdeen court planned

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Pro-Palestine activists are planing to protest outside a Scottish court in support of one of their members.

Alister Coutts, 56, has been charged in connection with an alleged incident at a shopping centre in Aberdeen earlier this week.

His pending court appearance next week comes amidst the backdrop of a nationwide campaign by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) against an Israeli-linked cosmetics firm.

Coutts’ supporters in the Aberdeen branch of the pro-Palestine organisation claim that he simply stated “viva Palestine” while walking past a Jericho SkinCare make-up stall in the city’s Union Square mall.

The SPSC claims the cosmetics firm uses minerals extracted from the Dead Sea on the coast of the “illegally occupied” Palestinian territories in the West Bank.

They say that the extraction and commercialisation of resources from an occupied territory breaches UN conventions.

In response, the SPSC has launched a “peaceful” campaign to boycott a number of make-up firms linked to the alleged practice and are lobbying for them to be removed from Scottish shopping centres.

Jericho SkinCare’s website states that the company’s products are “based on Dead Sea minerals”.

According to the Crown Office, Coutts’ court case is due to call at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on 9 September.

Prosecutors yesterday could not confirm the charges Coutts will face although the Aberdeen branch of the SPSC claim it is in connection with allegations of “acting in a racially aggravated manner”.

Jericho SkinCare yesterday denied sourcing any minerals from Palestinian-occupied land.

A spokeswoman for the cosmetics company said that their products come from border areas that were obtained by Israel following the 1967 Six Day War.

The firm claim that Israeli firm Paloma Dead Sea Ltd gets its salts and mud from sites in Arad and Be’er Sheeva – outwith the occupied territories. The spokeswoman said: “None of the business and trade is related to the West Bank. All activities and manufacturing are from Israel prior to 1967 borders.”

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