76-year-old Grandmother Arrested for Praying Outside during Lockdown

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: April 13, 2022

76-year-old Rosa Lalor was arrested on February 24th, 2021 as she did not have a "reasonable excuse" to be outside at the time. This was despite her explaining to the police officer that she was "walking and praying," and daily exercise was allowed. The officer accused her of not praying in a house of worship and fined her £200 after detaining her in a police car. She challenged this fine and has taken it to court with the help of ADF UK.

Rosa Lalor said: “I never thought that in a democratic country like the UK I would be arrested for a simple and solitary prayer walk. When I was walking outdoors, I was praying in the privacy of my own mind. What kind of society are we, when people can be arrested simply for peacefully manifesting their faith in public?”

She continued, “I have always respected the law and never wished to be involved in legal action, but having been fined simply for praying whilst walking, I know this is an important challenge to take forward. With support from ADF UK, I’m taking a stand to protect fundamental freedoms for all people.”

Jeremiah Igunnubole, Legal Counsel for ADF UK, which is supporting Rosa’s case said, “The right to express faith in a public space, including silent prayer – is a fundamental right protected in both domestic and international law. Whether under coronavirus regulations or any other law, it is the duty of the police to uphold, rather than erode, the rights and freedoms of women like Rosa. Such arrests subject otherwise law-abiding individuals to distressing and drawn-out criminal proceedings, leading to a chilling effect on freedom of expression and religion generally.”

Source and Image: ADF.uk