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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 December, 2004, 16:36 GMT
'Widespread racism' at facility
Zahid Mubarek
Zahid Mubarek was killed by his racist cellmate Robert Stewart
A report has revealed "widespread" racism at a young offenders' institution in west London.

The report revealed that black and Asian inmates were victims of racial taunts by prison officers at Feltham Young Offenders' Institution.

It is published by the Hounslow Racial Equality Council and is based on findings from inmate focus groups.

They were submitted after Asian inmate Zahid Mubarek was battered to death by his racist cellmate Robert Stewart.

'No pressure'

Four previously unpublished pages of the report highlighted problems at the institution.

The report said: "We were made aware that racial abuse from some of the white prison officers was common practice.

"Black and ethnic minority inmates were called 'monkeys', 'black bastards' and told that 'they should be sent back to their own country'."

Satvinder Buttar, the author of the report, told BBC London: "We have been working with the young offenders for a while now

Robert Stewart
Robert Stewart has been jailed for Mubarek's murder
"I requested to the governor that I would like to meet up with the inmates where they are under no pressure to talk to me independently and give me their views.

"The report highlights the severity of what was going on."

Mr Buttar said he felt confident changes would be made to the way the Feltham facility was run.

He said inmates had not been encouraged to report cases of racial abuse, and only five or six had been reported every month, but since his report the number has increased to 50 or 60 per month.

Questions

The report had said some of the black and ethnic minority officers would ignore reports of racial abuse to fit in with their white colleagues.

It also cited alleged preferential treatment of white inmates.

"There are several instances of two prisoners fighting, one white and one ethnic minority," the report claims.

"The white prisoner is left on the unit, with the minority ethnic prisoner taken to the segregation unit. The inquiry team questions why."

It also added minority prisoners were twice as likely to be restrained as white inmates, despite the racial breakdown of the facility being almost equal.

The current inquiry into the death of Mubarek is likely to take place until March.

Before the inquiry, prisons chief Martin Narey apologised for the failings at the facility that lead to the teenager's death.

"I would simply like to reiterate my unreserved apology for the failure of the Prison Service safely to look after Zahid Mubarek," he said.




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