Abu Baker Deghayes and his family have faced persecution for the last 12 years.
Police raided the family home in Brighton last month after Abu Baker’s son Abdullah died in
Abu’s brother Omar was arrested in 2002 and spent five years in the
Now a new war on Muslims has targeted the Deghayes family again.
Abu Baker told Socialist Worker, “They talk about being ‘anti-terror’, but there is no justification for what they are doing to us. They are using these scare tactics and scaremongering to criminalise Muslim people.”
The whole family including youngchildren had to stay in a hotel while cops searched their home.
“The police took my laptop, home computer and my passport,” said Abu Baker. “They took bank statements from my other brother and my sister-in-law. They even took my 12 year old nephew’s mobile.
“At first they said they were investigating the death of my son—but how they could do that I don’t know. Now they are saying we are a threat to
Abu Baker and Omar were children when they fled with their mother from
“Omar’s imprisonment was the central issue in our life. At every festival or family occasion he was missing. He was in a black hole of illegal limbo. I never imagined such a thing could happen to us.”
Omar lost the sight in one eye after prison guards pushed their fingers into his eye sockets. He was eventually released without charge in December 2007.
Many people in
“Our house used to be attacked by some local youth, sometimes with broken glass,” remembers Abu Baker. “My sons would be called ‘terrorist’ and ‘Taliban’.” The police never took action.
“Our family feels like we have been persecuted for years,” said Abu Baker. “The establishment is a bad loser. It will always try and find ways to come back at you. What is happening now, the surveillance, the raid, feels like a continuation of the same tactics.”
Abu Baker knows people who have had their passports taken for helping charities in
He went on, “Politicians are playing on people’s fears of terrorism, using words like ‘national security’. But people have been lied to before—such as when we were told
“Now they will try to pass more draconian laws and take away more liberties.”