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PRESS RELEASE Zahid Mubarak

29/6/2006

Black-led human rights organisation The 1990 Trust welcomed Mr Justice Keith’s independent inquiry report on the murder of Zahid Mubarek and his call for the Home Office to examine ‘institutional religious intolerance’ in the prison system.

The 1990 Trust called for the immediate suspension pending disciplinary action against the named individuals.

Zahid Mubarek was beaten to death by a table leg in his cell, by his cell mate Robert Stewart at Feltham Young Offenders Institute. Stewart was known to the prison as a violent racist and had a cross and RIP tattooed on his forehead.

Mr Justice Keith’s 700 page report found that there were a 186 specific failings led to Zahid’s death by his racist psychopathic cellmate.

Mr Justice Keith, commenting on the publication of his report today, referred to the “bewildering catalogue of shortcomings, both individual and systemic” that led to Zahid’s death as well as making broader criticisms of the Prison Service.

He urged the government to take action in relation to the prison population and the conditions within them.

Doctors, prison officers and other officials were named and shamed for their dereliction of duties. The Mubarek family have called for action to be taken against the 17 officers named, and said that they were concerned that the report should not be followed solely with general improvements without individual accountability, as with the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry report.

Imtiaz Amin, Zahid’s uncle told Blink ‘it has been an emotional and distressing day for the family. We want to see the report’s recommendations implemented and want the individuals involved to be disciplined appropriately as they must be held to account for their actions. Imagine receiving a letter saying that he wanted to kill his cellmate and then ignoring it.

They must be held to account. We have requested a meeting with the Home Secretary in order to draw up an action plan with timeline in relation to the recommendations made in the report.

Tanuka Loha, Director of The 1990 Trust said, ‘The officials concerned must immediately be suspended from their duties so that they are unable to endanger the lives of any other inmates.

'The only way to tackle this kind of racist and Islamophobic behaviour, is to ensure those responsible for this tragic and avoidable death are sacked. 43 Asian and African-Caribbean prisoners have died in custody since Zahid was murdered and we have to wonder what kind of message that sends out about the value of the lives of people from our communities, particularly when no action is taken.

'We look forward to the Home Secretary’s commitment to undertaking the necessary steps to ensure this never happens again.’

Press: For more information contact 07904 816 715 or email blink1990@blink.org.uk

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pdf Strength in Diversity: A Response from the 1990 Trust and associated organisations

Fuel on the Fire

Supporting Victims of Racist Abuse and Violence

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A Vision of Equality

Race Equality Management Module

The Black to Black Archive

UNITE TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS: sign the statement against the erosion of civil liberties and human rights by new anti-terrorism proposals A Black Manifesto No 2 ID FREE FAROUQ PDP ASSOCIATES Power to the People

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