London’s Metropolitan Police said Sunday they were looking into a speech given by an anti-vaccine COVID-19 conspiracy theorist, in which she apparently threatened the country’s medical workers by noting that Nazi doctors and nurses were hanged for their crimes during World War II.
Former nurse Kate Shemirani sparked outrage with her remarks given during an anti-vaccination event attended by thousands in London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday.
Police said they were examining a video from the event during which Shemirani urged crowds to send her lists of doctors and nurses involved in England’s national COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
“Get their names, email them to me. We have a group of lawyers, we are collating all that,” said Shemirani, who was struck off from practicing as a nurse earlier this year because of the disinformation she has spread.
“At the Nuremberg trials, the doctors and nurses stood trial and they hung,” she said, as the crowd cheered.
She then called on doctors and nurses to “stand with us, the people.”
Several of us are keen to report the individual in this video to the Prevent Radical Extremism programme. Might you direct us to the appropriate local contact for Trafalgar Square? https://t.co/4jIfGLqafV
— Trisha Greenhalgh (@trishgreenhalgh) July 24, 2021
“We are aware of a video circulating online showing a speech that occurred during a rally in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 24 July,” a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.
“Officers are carrying out inquiries to establish whether any offenses have been committed. No arrests have been made,” the spokesman said.
The Royal College of Nursing said Shemirani’s comments were “reprehensible and could put nursing staff at risk,” the BBC reported.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted Saturday, “This is utterly appalling, and I have raised it directly with the Met Police.”
“Our NHS staff are the heroes of this pandemic and Londoners from across this city roundly reject this hate,” the mayor wrote.
In May, Shemirani was suspended from being a nurse by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and then struck off in June for “putting the public at a significant risk of harm during a pandemic.”
At the time, the NMC said she had “been using her status as a registered nurse as a way of promoting her own distorted version of the truth.”
According to the Daily Mail newspaper, Shemirani’s social media accounts have been suspended due to her dissemination of conspiracy theories.
Shemirani has in past said vaccination teams should be called “death squads” and referred to the National Health Service as the “new Auschwitz,” the Mail reported.
On October 24, 2020, Shemirani’s son Sebastian gave an interview to the BBC in which he said he was concerned that his mother’s theories were “dangerous” and could have a negative influence on public health.
One of the first cases in the Nuremberg trials after World War II, during which Nazi officials were tried for their crimes, was on December 9, 1946, when charges were brought against 23 doctors and administrators for participating in war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Sixteen were eventually found guilty and seven were put to death.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, various protest groups around the world have compared local health orders aimed at curbing infections to Nazi practices during the Holocaust.