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6 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I September 2009
Government DNA database
proposals will still break the law
In its response to the Government’s concerns in relation to several aspects
consultation, ‘Keeping the Right of the Government’s proposals along
People on the DNA Database’, with its recommendations to bring
the Equality and Human Rights them in line with the Council of
Commission believes further changes Europe’s guidance on the use of DNA
are required to the way DNA profiles in the criminal justice system:
are stored and used by the state if it is DNA profiles must be destroyed
to comply with the law. once a final decision has been made
The Government is consulting in a case, with only a few exceptions.
on changes to the rules about the A person’s DNA profile should only be
DNA database after a European kept for a limited period if they have
Court of Human Rights ruling found been convicted of a serious crime and
that these were unlawful. Under the where destroying that information is
place to oversee the system. This
Government’s proposals, even if likely to pose a risk to the public.
would give innocent people a way
someone has not been charged with There must be more of a balance
of challenging the need to keep their
committing a crime their DNA profile between someone’s right to privacy
DNA profile on file.
can be kept for up to 12 years, or and the right of other people to be
The proposals do not tackle the
indefinitely if they have been found protected from a crime that might be
fact that there are a disproportionate
guilty of any offence. committed.
number of black men, particularly
The Commission believes this The rules should also differentiate
young black men, on the database.
proposal does not meet the European more between children and adults.
There are disproportionate
Court of Human Rights requirement The Commission argues that it is not
numbers of vulnerable people are on
for the UK Government to have clear, proportionate – and therefore unlawful
the database, including children as
justifiable reasons for holding on – to keep the DNA profile of a 10 year
young as ten and people with mental
to DNA data from people who had old child arrested for a minor offence
illnesses.
not been convicted of a crime. The for the same length of time as an
DNA is being collected for a broad
Commission’s response is based on adult.
range of offences, even when it may
advice from Michael Beloff QC. The Commission also wants an
not be relevant as evidence.
The Commission sets out its independent adjudicator to be put in
I was kidnapped at knifepoint
in BNP hate campaign
A Muslim community leader was kidnapped Essex Police confirmed they are “The men did not say anything about
from his home at knifepoint and ordered treating the kidnapping as a hate crime the BNP or who they were. But it is only
to stop holding prayer sessions following and are linking it to the two previous the BNP who want my Islamic group out
a BNP hate campaign. incidents and the group’s use of the hall. of Loughton. I believe the BNP campaign
Noor Ramjanally, from Loughton, The BNP strongly denies any has inspired the violence.”
Essex, was abducted by two men, responsibility for the crimes. On 2 July a petrol bomb damaged the
bundled into a car boot and driven to Mr Ramjanally, a married father of front of Mr Ramjanally’s house. The next
Epping Forest. one, was at home alone when his doorbell day he received a typed letter that read:
He said he feared he was about to be rang. He said: “When I opened the door, “We know which school your kid goes to
murdered when one of the kidnappers two white men just grabbed me by my and which car you drive.”
said: “Let’s do it here.” Then they told wrists and pulled me outside. They put a He said his family is in fear of further
him: “We don’t want the Islamic group in knife upon my stomach and said to me, attacks but vowed to continue his sessions,
Loughton.” Do what you are told or you will get hurt’. which attract 80 worshippers.
Mr Ramjanally, 35, has received I was scared. The BNP believes the meetings are a
hate mail threatening his family since he “They forced me into the boot of a 4x4 precursor to a mosque. Pat Richardson,
started regular Friday prayer sessions in and one of the men held me with a knife BNP group leader in Epping Forest,
a community hall in March. Last month his to my chest. They drove me to Epping denied the party was behind the attacks,
home was firebombed. Forest and one said, Do it here’. I thought saying: “Firebombing is not a British
The BNP, which has four councillors that my life was over.” method. A brick through the window is a
in the area, has been accused of He added: “They walked with me British method, but firebombing is not a
whipping up racial tensions after it issued deep into the forest and said: We don’t way of showing displeasure.”
an inflammatory leaflet attacking Mr want the Islamic group in Loughton. If you Police said they would work to ensure
Ramjanally’s Islamic community group for don’t stop, we’ll come back’. Then they that all members of the community could
hiring the local Murray Hall. disappeared. practise their religion safely. LES
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