Protester Attempts Citizen's Arrest of Tony Blair During Hong Kong Speech
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Published on Jun 14, 2012
Tony Blair was confronted by an anti-war protester, who attempted to make a citizen's arrest on the former PM as he gave a speech at the University of Hong Kong.
The protest comes a week after Mr Blair's evidence to the Leveson Inquiry was interrupted by an anti-war activist.
In Hong Kong, Tom Grundy shouted about breaches of the Geneva convention during Mr Blair's years in office as the ex-leader took the stage.
"I waited till he'd been speaking a minute or so before I stood up and went towards him and said, 'Mr Blair, under Hong Kong's Power 101 law - the law which allows for citizen's arrest here - I'll be arresting you for crimes against peace'," Grundy told the Guardian.
"There was a gaggle of photographers just in front of him.
"As I tried to pass through them to him, one of the gentlemen with him prevented me from going any further."
"I wouldn't come any further... you can go," Mr Blair said as Mr Grundy approached the podium where he was standing.
The 29-year-old Briton got close to the former prime minister before being blocked by university staff and escorted peacefully from the room.
Mr Grundy said he had registered online to attend the speech, and had brought with him notes about the legal basis for the attempted arrest, covering alleged violations of the UN charter, the Nuremberg principles, and the Geneva and Hague conventions.
"That's democracy for you," Mr Blair said as he was led away.
The activist said he had not been tackled by Mr Blair's personal security and left when the police - who he had hoped would help arrest the former PM - failed to turn up.
Mr Blair continued with his speech, apparently undeterred by the incident - in contrast to Leveson, when the former PM had a clear tremor in his voice as he began to give evidence again.
Mr Blair told his audience the forces of globalisation were "multiplying and intensifying the impact of religion" around the world.
He said the world needed more "platforms of interfaith dialogue and action" to improve understanding between people of different belief systems.
Mr Blair, who was Labour Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007, supported the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and had previously send troops into Afghanistan in 2001.
He was speaking in Hong Kong as the founder of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which seeks to promote understanding between the major religions.
Mr Grundy commented: "I think he's so used to it now, and that's part of the idea, to let him know that he should have to endure this wherever he goes.
"If he's at an event and the press are around, someone needs to remind him that he's a war criminal."
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