"Where Is Your God Now?": A Personal Account of Police Terror
10 December 2003
Taken from: http://www.stoppoliceterror.com/
Before I begin this account, I would like to say that I am a British Muslim in my twenties. My father came to the UK in the 1960’s and worked for over 30 years as a Government Civil Servant. I was born in the UK, I underwent all my Primary and Secondary Education in the UK. I went to university in the UK. Prior to this incident, I had had no previous dealings with the Police. I had never been arrested or cautioned. I had never seen the inside of a Police cell. To date, I have not even had points on my Driving Licence! I had a clean record; the same was true for all members of my immediate family. After this incident happened that you will read about below, I am ashamed to call myself British, because I learnt that there is no such thing as a ‘British Muslim’. You cannot be ‘British’ and ‘Muslim’ at the same time, because Britain is engaged in a War Against Islam. The account below was my reward for being ‘British’ and obeying the law of the land for my entire life.
Morning 02 December 2003
05:40 I was asleep upstairs when I heard a loud bang which woke up me and my wife. I immediately got out of bed and went to the window. When I looked out, I saw about 15 men who looked like Riot Police, shouting ‘Police!’ and running towards my door. Within seconds, they had broken the front door and ran up the stairs into my bedroom. Since the lights were off, each of these policemen had torches with them. As they approached me in my bedroom (I was standing with my back to the window), I put my hands straight up in the air. They were wearing blue helmets, body armour, large boots and thick, padded gloves.
Immediately, one of the policemen began to punch my head with his padded gloves and they began shouting, “Get down! Get on the floor, you f***ing b**ard, you f***ing c**t!” They pushed me around a bit (my wife later told me that they smashed either my head or another part of my body against the upstairs window, which shattered the pane, but I was unaware of this at the time), then they forced me down to the floor, on my front and six or seven policemen surrounded me. I am thin and tall: each policeman was twice the size of me, and that’s excluding their equipment.
All of a sudden, they began to hit me all over my body. One policeman was repeatedly punching the right-hand side of my head, around the ear. Another was punching the left-hand side of my head, around the ear and left-eye. Another was punching my head from the top. Another was punching my neck. Another was punching my legs. [I am assuming that they were punching me, but it may have been strikes with batons; I was obviously unaware of what they were hitting me with.] Within the space of a few seconds, they must have hit me about 30 times on my head and 20 times on the rest of the body. [My wife later told me that she was shouting at them, “What are you doing?” She also said that I was shouting at them, “Stop hitting me!”] During this initial beating, one of the policemen searched for my private area with his hands, grabbed and pulled.
After this assault of a couple of minutes, it was only then that one of them asked me to confirm my name and then he said that I was under arrest under the Terrorism Act 2000, accused of the Commission, Preparation or Instigation of an Act or Acts of Terror. [The odd thing is that they assaulted me first and then asked questions to verify who I was.] They then pushed me to the floor again, on my front, and put handcuffs on my hands behind my back. This was when the real pain began and I began to scream. They left the cuffs on slightly loose, deliberately and then began to pull, push, twist, drag and slide the cuffs on my wrists until I would scream in pain. Whilst I was screaming, they were laughing and making fun of me. The pain on the wrists made me temporarily forget about the pain on other parts of the body.
They then stood me up, pushed my head down and marched me downstairs. During this, they repeatedly stood on my toes with their large boots, and punched and kneed my legs, especially my right-thigh. They took me downstairs. Downstairs, we have a wooden laminate flooring and then one carpeted room. We do not wear shoes in the carpeted room because we pray there; hence all shoes were on the laminate, outside the carpeted room. They took me into the downstairs room, sarcastically asking, “Are we allowed shoes in here?” They all entered the room and I heard some things being smashed about by the policemen. They kicked away the floor cushions with their dirty boots and took me to a corner of the room, where they made me kneel down in a prostrate position. They then all began to laugh at me whilst I was in that position and say, “Where is your god now? Pray to Him! You’re in prayer now!” They were sneering and laughing.
Then, one of the policemen said, “Search him!” [I was wearing a thin t-shirt on top and a thin pair of legging-type pyjamas on the bottom]. They then lay me down on my front again, pulled down my bottoms in order to expose me and the perverts began to feel and touch their hands everywhere in order to ‘search’ me. Throughout this ordeal, they were twisting the handcuffs until I would scream in pain and they would laugh. They marched me outside the room (at this point, my throat was very dry, perhaps due to screaming, and I could feel blood in my throat), made me wear some flip flops and took me outside my house: all the time, swearing at me, punching me, stepping on my toes and twisting my handcuffs. Outside the house, one of them shouted, “How many are going in the van?” Another replied, “Three.”
They took me into a minibus-type van (van with windows and seats in the back) and lay me face down on the floor in the aisle, with my head towards the back of the bus. At least two, and perhaps three policemen entered the back of the van with me: one sat near my head, one was near my legs and I think a third was near the middle. [I cannot remember the exact number as I was face down all the time.] As they got me on the floor, one of them gave me a few solid punches to my back and kidneys, then proceeded to twist my handcuffs until I screamed. Another one stood on my crossed ankles with his boots and pushed them against the metal legs of the bus seats. He also did the same with my knees: squeezing my knees against the metal legs until I screamed.
As the van drove off, they were continually swearing at me and twisting my handcuffs until I screamed. A few minutes later, the policemen near my head positioned himself and grabbed my neck with both arms, in a headlock, and he strangled me tightly until I could not breathe. He kept this hold for a few seconds and then released it, making me gasp for breath. The feeling was similar to one who is drowning and desperately fighting to breathe. That policeman who did this, then said to me, “You’ll remember this day for the rest of your f***ing life, do you understand me, you f***ing b***ard?” They then continued to twist my cuffs and push my knees against the metal.
A few minutes later, the same policemen got my neck in a vice-like grip and strangled me again. This second time, he squeezed so tightly and for so long, that I thought that something was going to happen to me. My eyes rolled to the top of my head and inside my head, I thought that my moment of death had come. The attempted murderer then released me and I gasped for breath, almost passing out.
About 20-30 minutes later, the van arrived somewhere, they took me out and stood me outside the door of the Police Station (I later found out that it was Charing Cross Police Station, not too far from Trafalgar Square). The same two officers who were torturing me inside the van, accompanied me outside the van. They continued to swear at me and twist my cuffs until we entered the Police Station, whence they both became angels and duly obeyed the instructions of the Duty Police Officer. They took off my cuffs and I could barely stand. I looked at both of my wrists and they were bleeding profusely. The size of my wrists had swollen to a size larger than my forearms: I could hardly feel anything in my wrists and part of the palms of my hands due to numbness.
The Duty Officer asked me to confirm my name and address and then he asked for the Warrant Numbers of the two policemen who had almost tortured me to death in the van. Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the policemen do not have to give their names, only their ‘Warrant Numbers’. They both gave their numbers as 199400 and 183477 and this was recorded by the Duty Officer on my records. I turned around and looked at both of them for a good minute or two in order to recognise and remember their features, especially after they had removed their helmets. They were both white, obviously. One seemed to be around 30 years old, stockily built, slight-double-chin, ginger hair, freckles on his face. The other was perhaps in his mid to late twenties, short brown hair, blue eyes. Both had helmets which said MP 011 on the back and both had what appeared to be handguns in holsters, at their hips.
My lawyers, from Arani & Co. took both video and still footage of my injuries the same day. I was seen by Police Doctors twice a day, although the examinations were not thorough and only lasted a few minutes at a time. After about 48 hours, my lawyers arranged for an independent Doctor to examine me. He examined me for about two hours and prepared a detailed report on my injuries. He concluded that I sustained the following injuries:
Severe bruising to the whole body, especially the head, wrist, face, knees and legs
Black eye and cuts on the face
Possibly perforated ear-drum with visible blood inside the canal
Bruising to kidneys which gave traces of blood in my urine for three days after the assault
Possibly fractured cheek bone
Possibly fractured ribs
My doctor recommended that I be taken to hospital as soon as possible and be x-rayed. The Police Doctors did not consider this necessary.
I was kept in solitary confinement for the next seven days and questioned about items the Anti-Terrorist Police had taken from my house, including receipts, old family holiday videos, cash that we had saved up for having the house decorated and other bits and pieces from the house. My fingerprints, mouth swab DNA and hair samples were taken and sent all around the World, including America, to see if I had any links to terrorism: nothing was found. My house and office was searched for explosives, chemical weapons and other terrorism-related items: of course nothing was round. Eventually, after seven days, I was released without charge and I was still not told what ‘act or acts of terror’ I had ‘commissioned prepared for or instigated’. I still do not know until this day.
When I returned home to my family, I found out the following:
When the Police entered my house, they also handcuffed my wife even though her name was not on any warrant. Whilst she was shaking and visibly upset, the policewomen were laughing at her and s------ing to themselves.
The Police damaged my house, rooms that myself and my wife had decorated with our hands and legally-earned money.
They damaged the carpets, left black marks on the walls. They smashed a beautiful candle holder-set that we had been given on our wedding.
They took a laptop and computer from the house; including a new PC that we had just bought and only contained my wife’s teaching materials (she is a teacher).
They left a copy of the Quran on the floor; having taken it down from a table.
As I write this, two days after my release and eight days after the initial arrest, I am on sick-leave from work. I still have blood in my ear canal, I am still limping from bruising to my body, I still have a black-eye and marks on my face, my wrists and palms are still numb due to damage to the nerves. This is on top of the psychological damage that this ordeal has caused myself and my family.
I feel angry, bitter, terrorised, betrayed and oppressed. I feel the Government officials who continuously declare that this is a War Against Terror and not a War Against Islam, are liars and hypocrites, because if it was not a War Against Islam, then why did the Police insult my religion, my prayer and ask, “Where is your god now? You’re in prayer now?” I feel that the Police officials who go on about community relations with the Muslim Community, are liars and hypocrites because they have no interest in keeping relations with the community. They say that this is War on Terror. I don’t understand how those who terrorise innocent people themselves have the right to claim that they are fighting a War on Terror. Britain is engaged in a War Against Islam and I challenge anyone: Police, Government or otherwise, to convince me otherwise. I believe that everyone should know about this incident, so that it is not repeated and no other innocent people are terrorised by Britain’s ‘Anti-Terrorist’ Police.
The British Government should be wary of repeating the cycle of what happened to the Irish in the 1970’s. After bomb attacks on the mainland, the British Government interned thousands of Irish men: homes were raided, husbands were taken away, fathers were beaten, women and children were left crying. Louise Christian, a leading human rights lawyer, said that this did not end terrorism and support for the IRA; rather it increased resentment and fuelled sympathy and support for the IRA in the long run.