ZAHID MUBAREK PUBLIC INQUIRY:
START DATE ANNOUNCED - FAMILY WILL WELCOME PUBLIC SUPPORT
The family believe that a transparent Public Inquiry will not only reveal a litany of failures by the prison system to protect Zahid from his cell mate, Robert Stewart, a self confessed racist psychopath known for his repeated violence and racism but perhaps as importantly the service could learn real lesson so that such tragedy is not repeated again. A public investigation into the circumstances leading to this murder is likely to have a radical, root and branch and national impact on the prison system as it is the first of its kind and will allow the family’s representative to almost forensically examine the motives and practice of those responsible for Zahid’s safety.
INQUIRY START DATE: THURSDAY 18TH NOVEMBER 2004
10AM TO 4PM DAILY UNTIL 23RD DECEMBER 2004
COURT 80 First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6NP
Link to map: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=530919&y=181631&z=0&sv=WC1V+6NP&st=2
PRESS STATEMENT & A REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY LED BY THE FAMILY CAMPAIGN OUTSIDE THE COURT ON THE FIRST DAY AT 9.30AM, with MP’s etc ALL WELCOME
Zahid Mubarek was initially sentenced to 90 days for stealing razor blades worth £6. On the morning of his release, 21st March 2000, he was clubbed to a pulp and coma by his racist cell mate, Robert Stewart. Zahid died in hospital a week later. Stewart was convicted for the murder in November 2000. It became obvious at the trial and through a number of internal prison inquiries that Zahid’s life was in danger as soon as Stewart was placed in the same cell. Whilst in custody Stewart had written over 200 letters, all of these were signed with a swastika. A month before he killed Zahid, Stewart gave a chilling description of how he would kill his “pad-mate”. Stewart had planned to kill Zahid on the day of his release. Indeed whilst sharing a cell with Zahid, Stewart had corresponded with other prisoners who had also killed their cell mates on significant or anniversary dates. Yet the prison authorities did nothing to save Zahid.
Soon after the incident, the family wrote to the Home Secretary asking for a public investigation into the circumstances that led to Zahid’s brutal murder and whether any lessons could be learned. However given Home Secretary’s refusal, the family was forced to seek a judicial review. In a landmark decision (September 2001), the High Court Judge, Justice Hooper, asked the Home Secretary to reconsider his stance and order an independent investigation but the Home Secretary refused to listen and instead won an appeal against Justice Hooper’s judgment in February 2002. The family then challenged the Appeal Court’s decision through the Law Lords in July last year. In an unprecedented decision the Law Lords, in October last year compelled the Home Secretary to hold a public inquiry.
Imtiaz Amin, Zahid’s uncle said, ”For any family to see their son, grandson, brother or nephew with such fatal injuries would be enough to break them mentally because when he died something of us left also – this is why we will never be the same and why we will never forget. This inquiry is a real opportunity by all those involved to rectify failings which have plagued the prison system and robbed individuals of their right to life for the last decade or so. We hope that the challenge is met with a vigour and tenacity which will finally unlock the secrecy surrounding this institution”.
Press Enquiries: Please contact Suresh Grover on 07958 174451.
For details on the case, contact The Monitoring Group on 020 8843 2333 or visit the website on www.monitoring-group.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For details on the Zahid Mubarek Family Campaign, please contact: National Civil Rights Movement on 020 8574 0818, or visit the NCRM website (from 1st November 2004) on www.ncrm.org.uk or email us at email@example.com