Socialist Worker

The police

Issue No. 1931

Victim treated as a terrorist

FRIENDS AND family of an Arab student who was left in a coma after a brutal assault in north west London are raising serious questions about the police’s behaviour in the case.

Yassir Abdelmouttalib was attacked in late June and a court case, which finished last week, has led to a conviction.

But Yassir’s friends remain concerned at the questions they were asked in police interviews. They say they were asked:

“Which mosque does Yassir attend? How many times did he go to the mosque a day? Does Yassir often change his mobile? Was Yassir deeply involved in Islam? What type of books did Yassir read? Would he travel to other mosques around the UK to listen to specific speakers?”

The police also collected all Yassir’s belongings from his house on the evening of the incident. The police said that was to identify Yassir. But months later many of the belongings had not been returned.

When Yassir’s sister Sara went to collect some of them, a police officer produced an item claiming that Yassir had manufactured it and that it was a type used in explosives.

It has turned out to be nothing more than a standard electrical component.

The question remains—why was the victim of a near-fatal attack treated as a terrorist suspect?

Setting out a stall for racism

A TURKISH man living in Belfast has spoken out after being beaten up in public and racially abused by a team of officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Musa Gulusen was severely assaulted while working on his market stall.

“A police officer grabbed me by the throat and shoved me up against a wall,” said Musa. “He hit me in the face.

“Then other officers came over and forced me to the ground. They forced my arms up behind my back. They kept pulling and my arm was in real pain. There was blood on the ground.”

The officers then bundled him into a Land Rover.

One called him “kebab boy”, at which point the others started laughing.

“I’m 36 years old, I’ve lived here for 12 years, I have a British passport—and they see me as if I was an animal. They were all laughing at me as if I wasn’t human,” said Musa.

He was hospitalised—where it was discovered that his arm had been broken. He also had severe bruising to his back and facial injuries.

Campaigners against racism in Northern Ireland are calling for a full independent inquiry into the police assault.

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Sat 11 Dec 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1931
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