Sunday, August 15, 2010

UK police officers face charges of assaulting Muslim

 Two Circles

London : Britain’s Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer announced Thursday that four police officers will face assault charges over the wrongful arrest of computer expert Babar Ahmad nearly seven years ago. Ahmad, who is currently in jail contesting a US extradition request to face alleged terrorism charges, welcomed the state's decision to prosecute PC Mark Jones, PC James-Bowen, PC Cowley and PC Donoghue for occasioning actual bodily harm.

“A jury will hear the evidence in this case and it will now be for the jury to determine whether any police officer should be punished for the assault upon me in December 2003,” he said in a statement released through his solicitors, obtained by IRNA.

The decision comes after London’s Metropolitan Police agreed to pay £60,000 damages in March last year when it was admitted that he had been subjected to “grave abuse, tantamount to torture” while being arrested under Britain’s anti-terrorism legislation.

The compensation followed five years of legal proceedings launched by the 35-year old computer specialist, claiming that officers “punched, kicked and choked” him and also mocked his Muslim faith, when being forcing into the prayer position and asked, “Where is your God now?”

Ahmed was released without charge after being held for six days but was subsequently re-arrested in 2004 under a US extradition warrant claiming he run a website supporting Chechen and Afghan insurgents and has been in prison ever since.

Last month, the European Court of Human Rights temporarily froze his extradition, saying it wanted further time to consider concerns that he may face “cruel and unusual punishment” if he was sent to the United States.

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