CAGE is alarmed at the violent manner by which the police raided the house of Tarik Hassane, and by the alarmist media reporting that jeopardises the Rule of law. Based on our investigations in which we have spoken to friends and relatives of Tarik Hassane, Cerie Bullivant, CAGE spokesperson makes the following points:
1. The raid was violent: "The excessive force used – a door was broken down, stun grenades were thrown, and a taser used – were reminiscent of the Ferguson case in the US earlier this year
, or Forest Gate in 2006
. It is clear that the police are now militarised and their tactics are terrorising people."
"There is nothing to suggest that the level of violence used by the police was justified: Mr Hassane has never been arrested or convicted and does not have a history of firearm possession."
"CAGE are concerned at the steady increase in the number of raids in which excessive force and violence has been used against young Muslims and their families with selectively leaked biased information sent to the media. Many of those raided and arrested are then released without charge, something that achieves scant mention in the press. These young men become criminalised, and their lives tarnished with the broad brush-stroke of 'terrorism.''
2. Debunking the mass hysteria surrounding Tarik Hassane: "Sections of the media have failed to question the police's activities and have instead sought to cast Tarik Hassane as guilty before proven innocent, something supported by claims made from MI5 that an ISIS terror plot had been uncovered. Such claims give further credence to a belief among many that Muslims have become a suspect community. The media hysteria may have destroyed any hope that he will be able to pursue his medical studies in the UK."
Tweet: "A tweet
with the words 'oi lads I smell war' that was part of a wider twitter conversation has been isolated and stripped of its surrounding context as evidence of Mr Hassane's assumed guilt by a number of mainstream media outlets."
'East Africa' and 'The Surgeon': "Mr Hassane had traveled to London to spend Eid with his family from Sudan (an East African country), where he is a medical student, hence the nickname. He was due to return to Sudan in a few days."
One of Tarik Hassane's friends said to CAGE: "My friend Tarik is a very laid back and funny guy. He likes football and has never had problems with anyone. He is also very focused on his studies and had long term plans to get married."
"Much of the media coverage about Tarik has been nonsense and bad journalism. Even the nickname 'Surgeon' he has had since Year 7."
Contact: Mr Amandla Thomas-Johnson
Phone: +(44) 207 377 6700
27 Old Gloucester Street
(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.)