Socialist Worker

Cops hold disabled teen for nine hours

Issue No. 2404

More than 21,000 people have signed a petition in support of a teenager with Down’s Syndrome held by police in a cell for nine hours and then cautioned. 

Abdulkarriem Al-Faisal, aged 19, is a student at Haringey 6th Form Centre in Tottenham, north London. He went to his school on May Day to retrieve his favourite baseball cap. The school was closed and he climbed through a window, which set off the alarm. 

His mother Roshina told Socialist Worker, “The way the police treated my son was disgraceful—this is racism and Islamophobia. I have photographs of my son’s arms where he was bruised. And he was kicked. He told me they held him down with a knee in the back.

“The police need to learn how to treat vulnerable young people properly. He has Down’s Syndrome but the police asked if the condition was treatable.”

Roshina had reported him missing to the police, only to be told that he was in custody. She found Abdulkarriem frightened and in tears. The police only released him after the intervention of his teacher and a lawyer. 

Officers had contacted Interpol and Home Office immigration regarding Abdulkarriem while he was in custody.

Sign the petition


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Tue 20 May 2014, 20:06 BST
Issue No. 2404
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