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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 November 2005, 09:37 GMT
Muslim warns of community fears
Picture of police officers in Thornhill Street, Cardiff
The police raid was one of a number across the UK that day
A leading Welsh Muslim has warned that the detention of a Libyan man in Cardiff six weeks ago is damaging race relations in Wales.

Mohammed Javed, chair of the Cardiff Police Advisory Committee, said the case had panicked the community.

The man - one of five people detained during raids the same day in the UK - is awaiting an immigration tribunal.

The Home Office and the Department of Constitutional Affairs have refused to comment on specific cases.

Speaking on the Politics Show on BBC Wales on Sunday, Mr Javad - chair of the Cardiff Police Advisory Committee - said the seizure of the Libyan national in the wake of the July bombings had already made "quite a bit of difference" to race relations in Wales.

"People in Islamic communities are asking, 'Who is next?'," he said.

"If people can come and pick anybody without disclosing why they are doing it, it will affect race relations in Wales.

"This one arrest has already made quite a bit of difference to race relations here."

Mohammed Javed
Mr Javed has grave concerns

The Libyan has been held at Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire since being arrested in a raid at his home in Thornhill Street, Canton, on 3 October.

Four other men were seized the same day, in London and the West Midlands.

A total of 22 people have been detained under the Immigration Act 1971 as part of a crackdown on terrorists and their alleged supporters in the wake of the 7 July suicide bombings in London.

'Torture or execution'

The Act gives powers to deport individuals and to detain them pending deportation.

The man detained in Cardiff was the first in Wales to be held following the attacks.

He is being detained - pending an immigration tribunal - because the UK Government considers his presence in Wales is "not conducive to the public good".

But, six weeks since the start of his detention, no specific charges have been brought against him.

The man's solicitor Sean McLoughlin has said if his client is deported to Libya, he may face torture or even execution.

"It's most distressing and, when you look at the bigger picture and the whole process, we say entirely one-sided and extremely unfair," he added.

Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights prevents people from being deported to a regime whre they may face torture

Amnesty International is outraged that the UK Government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Libya that such torture would not take place.

If it proves acceptable in law, it will pave the way for deportations to Libya.

"That document isn't worth the paper it is written on," said Amnesty International's Welsh Director, Eleanor White.

"Our concerns are that Libya is a country where we have documented torture and grave human rights abuses.

"For for the UK to have a memorandum of understanding that doesn't even include any monitoring whatsovever is simply a way of getting around the commitment not to return somebody to a country where they might be tortured."

  • The Politics Show, BBC One Wales, Sunday, 12 noon.


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