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Last Updated: Friday, 30 September 2005, 01:16 GMT 02:16 UK
Jails 'still not tackling racism'
Zahid Mubarek
Zahid Mubarek's murderer was a known racist
The UK race watchdog says it could hold the Prison Service to account for its alleged continuing failure to tackle racism in jails in England and Wales.

The Commission for Racial Equality said it could use its enforcement powers, in a submission to the inquiry into the murder of Asian inmate Zahid Mubarek.

The 19-year-old was killed by racist cellmate Robert Stewart at Feltham young offenders institution in 2000.

Prison Service and CRE officials are to attend an inquiry seminar on Friday.

Both organisations said they would not comment ahead of publication of the inquiry report, expected early next year.

'Failures' found

The killing of Mr Mubarek prompted a CRE investigation into the Prison Service that in 2003 reported "persistent failure" to tackle racism.

Findings of unlawful racial discrimination included the failure to protect prisoners from racial violence.

The CRE at the time decided against using its enforcement powers under the Race Relations Act to press for action.

It accepted that the Prison Service had already established a five-year plan to improve the situation.

But in a recent submission to the public inquiry it said there was still evidence of poor practice and that it would hold the Prison Service director general and his team to account if action was not taken.

Director General Phil Wheatley and senior CRE representatives attend a seminar at the inquiry later on Friday.

Stewart, now 24, was jailed for life in 2000 for beating to death Mr Mubarek with a table leg.

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