Classical dancer, social activist, and founder of the cultural action group Tehrik-i-Niswan, Sheema Kermani, encountered an unfortunate incident on Friday as she was “ejected” from a program held at the British Deputy High Commission. This incident unfolded when she raised a slogan in support of the people of Gaza during an event celebrating the birthday of King Charles III. The gathering brought together various artists, politicians, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officials.
Amidst speeches and felicitations to Britain, Kermani seized the moment to raise the slogan “Ceasefire Now.” This action led security personnel to approach her, attempting to remove her from the premises. Reflecting on the regrettable incident, Kermani stated, “That’s when I asked them not to touch me as I would see myself out.”
Explaining her motivation, she expressed, “They were all congratulating the British Government and the royal family without any mention of the atrocities taking place in Gaza. I had to do what I did. I couldn’t stay silent. Sadly, when the other guests saw me being thrown out and leaving, none of them, not even one, decided to take a stand and join me.”
In response, a spokesperson for the British Deputy High Commission stated that Kermani was shouting during “an important speech about climate change in Pakistan by the British Deputy High Commissioner.” The spokesperson clarified that security personnel intervened to stop her from shouting, but she left on her own accord. Therefore, it would be incorrect to say that she was forcibly removed.