This is a case study from our report 20 Years of TACT: Justice Under Threat.
Read the full report here.
“It was evident that because I looked Muslim, and had a Muslim name, I was a suspect.”
I went through the electronic gate, and as soon as I’d passed through the gate, two people stopped me, and began asking me questions. They did not stop anyone else. There were a lot of people, between 50 to 100, in front of me. All these people were passing by, and I felt all eyes were on me. I am Asian looking, have a bit of a beard, so I felt like I was drawing a lot of unwarranted attention.
They told me to come with them to the interview room. I work in the health sector, so we are bound by certain codes in terms of giving away information about people. Even saying who I visited was very uncomfortable for me. As a health care worker, it’s just ingrained in you, this unwritten code that you don’t give away people’s details without their express permission. On top of that, I am a very private person.
They took my phone and after they did that, the phone didn’t work. I don’t know what they took off the phone but what worries me the most is that I use it for work, and I have about 60 to 70 staff phone numbers on it. We are bound by the GDPR, the data protection law, which means we cannot give this information to people without the express permission of the people involved.
After a while, it seemed to me that their main concern was gathering the names and details of people in my contact list. This is extremely concerning for me.
Not only this, but I am a law-abiding person. To do the work I do, I have to maintain a clean record. The only thing I have on my name is a parking fine from about ten years ago. I don’t violate the law. I was there for nearly three hours.
I haven’t sat back. I put in a complaint against the police and it is being investigated. But I have no faith that it will be fair, because I’ve supplied a five-page long letter detailing it, and the officer who has been assigned to investigate, has been pushing to meet with me.
There’s no way I want to be seen coming out of a police station. I am a professional, educated person, and I work with the law all the time as part of my job.
It was evident that because I looked Muslim, and had a Muslim name, I was a suspect.
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)