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Passion Islam I August 2010

Compensation for Gaza protesters beaten by police

Two demonstrators beaten by unidentified police officers during a protest against Israeli massacres in Gaza last year have been awarded £25,000 in compensation. “Offers of compensation have been made to Ashley and Russell Inglis for the injuries they received. The Met has apologised for the force used,” a spokesman for London’s Metropolitan police said.

The apology was made in a letter to the twin brothers, both Oxford University graduates, who needed hospital treatment after being struck on the head with a baton by a police officer during a protest outside the Israeli embassy in January 2009. “Whilst it has not been possible to identify who struck you and caused your injuries, the investigation into the events established there was no reason to suspect that you were acting in a violent way, and therefore you should not have been struck with a baton,” the letter said.

Payment of the compensation came as ten

demonstrators jailed for protesting against Israel’s massacre of more than 1.400 Palestinians in Gaza launched appeals against their sentences.

Over 100 people were arrested after demonstrating outside the Israeli Embassy in London, 78 were charged with violent disorder and many, mostly Muslims, were given deterrent sentences of up to two and a half years. The twin brothers, who have been highly critical of the police investigation into their assault, said they were planning to use some of the compensation to help other people involved in the demonstrations pursue cases against the police.

The Islamic Human Rights

Commission (IHRC) produced a report earlier this year on the policing of the demonstrations, which included very disturbing eyewitness accounts of unprofessional police conduct and in some cases amounting to police brutality. Claims were that “law enforcement officials used tactics of intimidation and indiscriminate, disproportionate force”; they “failed to communicate effectively. IRNA

The Home Secretary announced the suspension of the broad stop and search powers found in section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

This widely discredited power, that allowed blanket stop and search without any suspicion of terrorism, was designated in secret by senior police officers and past Home Secretaries often on a rolling basis across whole counties of England and Wales.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty welcomed the Home Secretary’s decision: “Liberty welcomes the end of the infamous s.44 stop and search power that criminalised and alienated more people than it ever protected. We argued against it for ten years and spent the last seven challenging it all the way to the Court of Human

Liberty welcomes demise of section 44 stop and search


It is a blanket and secretive power that has been used against school kids, journalists, peace protesters and a disproportionate number of young black men. To our knowledge, it has never helped catch a single terrorist. This is a very important day for personal privacy, protest rights and race equality in Britain.” In January of this year a seven year Liberty legal challenge (Gillan and Quinton V the United Kingdom) resulted in the Court of Human Rights ruling that section 44 violates the right to respect for private life guaranteed by Article 8 of the Convention on Human Rights. The case arose from an arms fair in the Docklands area of East London in September 2003 where journalists and peace protestors were

subject to lengthy stop and search and prevented from attending a demonstration. Liberty’s challenge revealed that the whole of Greater London had been secretly designated for stop and search without suspicion on a rolling basis since 2001. Prior to the General Election, the previous Government made a last ditch appeal to the Grand Chamber of the Court of Human Rights which was roundly refused. Continued use of the power would only have left both the public and police under confusion about a law that was ripe for misuse and further legal challenges.

Passion Islam have from day one been critical of the Stop and search method and like liberty welcomes the end of the infamous s.44 stop and search power.

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