Socialist Worker

Injustice outrage from Straw

Issue No. 1766

JACK STRAW, as home secretary in the last government, personally stepped in to ensure that Satpal Ram, an innocent man, remained behind bars. Satpal was racially attacked in an Indian restaurant in 1986. Satpal defended himself, and his attacker later died.

Satpal was convicted of murder in 1987 without even being given the opportunity to defend himself in court. He has protested his innocence ever since. His refusal to bow to intimidation by prison authorities means he has been moved from one jail to another some 70 times over the last 15 years.

Much of the time he has been held in solitary confinement. Campaigners believe that Satpal's political campaigning lies behind Jack Straw overturning a recommendation that he should be released. The parole board made that recommendation in October last year.

Straw sat on the report for three months and then requested 'clarification'. He then turned down a second recommendation by the parole board calling for Satpal to be set free.

Current home secretary David Blunkett stands by Straw's decision. And disgracefully the Criminal Cases Review Commission looked set to reject Satpal's latest appeal to get the conviction overturned.

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Article information

Sat 15 Sep 2001, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1766
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