Coppers raid student writing Master’s thesis – get to pay £20,000

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A student who was arrested and held for seven days after downloading the al-Qaida training manual as part of his university research into terrorist tactics has received £20,000 in compensation and an apology from the police for being stopped and searched.

Rizwaan Sabir, 26, was studying for a master’s at the University of Nottingham in 2008 when he was detained under the Terrorism Act and accused of downloading the material for illegal use. He was arrested on 14 May after the document was found on an administrator’s computer by a member of staff.

Sabir had asked the administrator, Hisham Yezza, to print out the 140-page manual as they were collaborating on research…As soon as he was made aware of the situation, one of Sabir’s supervisors confirmed that the manual – which he had downloaded from a US government website and which can be bought at WH Smith – was relevant to his research.

After seven days and six nights in custody, he was released without charge or apology. But his lawyers later discovered Nottinghamshire police were holding an intelligence file on him, which contained false information about him and wrongly claimed he had been convicted of a terrorist offence.

…The force settled last week, paying Sabir £20,000 compensation and covering his legal fees. It apologised to Sabir for a stop and search on 4 February 2010 and agreed to delete the inaccurate intelligence information.

Sabir, now a PhD student at the University of Strathclyde researching domestic UK counter-terrorism policy, told the Guardian he was delighted at the settlement…

His solicitor, Michael Oswald of Bhatt Murphy, said the case showed how the so-called “war on terror” had perverted the rule of law over recent years.

“Clearly, the police have a difficult and important job to do in their counter-terrorism role, however, they must nonetheless act within the law and must be held to account when they do not,” he said. “Through his remarkable effort and fierce determination over the last three years, Mr Sabir has been able to do that in this case. This result is nothing more than the clear vindication that he is entitled to.”

RTFA if you feel a need to [1] read a few more details provided by Mr. Sabir; [2] you enjoy reading boilerplate bullshit rationales from police departments and incompetent university administrators.

One thought on “Coppers raid student writing Master’s thesis – get to pay £20,000

  1. Michelle Meaders says:

    If it had been in the US, they probably would still have him in custody, or he would have been rendered to another country. At best, they would have ransacked his house and never apologized.

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