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Wanstead schoolgirl Leanne Mohamad speaks out after ‘vile abuse’ from trolls for pro-Palestinian speech

PUBLISHED: 15:15 01 June 2016 | UPDATED: 15:15 01 June 2016

Leanne Mohamad with her Speak Out challenge regional award winner's prize.

Leanne Mohamad with her Speak Out challenge regional award winner's prize.

Jack Petchey

A 15-year-old pupil, who has been the victim of “vile abuse” online after winning a competition with a pro-Palestinian speech, has spoken about her ordeal.

Leanne Mohamad, from Ilford, won the Redbridge final of the Jack Petchey Foundation’s Speak Out Challenge, but received hateful comments for her speech Birds Not Bombs.

Leanne, whose parents are Palestinian, spoke of the suffering of her people and the death of her one-year-old cousin.

But critics have said her speech was one-sided and inaccurate.

Social media users have accused her of being a “blood libel” against Israel and branded the girl an Islamic State (ISIS) recruiter.

Leanne said: “I am a 15-year-old child and should not be subjected to the vile abuse that I have been receiving.

“It has honestly made me feel saddened and depressed, however it has not lowered my confidence as I will continue to speak out with my personal thoughts and beliefs as I believe everyone should.”

Leanne said she had informed the police about the online abuse, and a spokeswoman told the Recorder officers were investigating allegations of malicious communications.

Leanne added: “I would like to thank everyone for all the wonderful support I have received especially from family and friends but overwhelmingly from so many people that I do not know.”

Read the full story in tomorrow’s Ilford Recorder.

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