‘Our parents did not come to this country to bury their children’

‘Our parents did not come to this country to bury their children’


Written by: IRR European News Team

Below we reproduce a statement from the brother and sister of Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah, who died after being arrested by police in High Wycombe on 3 July 2008.

‘It has now been almost nine months since Habib/Paps, our brother died in High Wycombe whilst being arrested during a routine drugs search. No one knows what we have gone through during those months. It has been so difficult and painful for our mother, Hamida and his wife Mussarat and their three children. Mum has aged ten years and has lost weight and has suffered from depression like all of us. For her and Mussarat the loss has been difficult to understand especially as English is not their first language – their view of the police and authority in general has irrevocably changed due to this experience. Mum was always very close to Paps whilst the rest of us were close to our dad who passed away a few years back.

It has been tremendously hard on the children and it was so sad seeing them write a card to their father and giving this in to the police station in High Wycombe on the day of what would have been his 40th birthday. They too have struggled to understand what has happened and are still coming to terms with the loss of their dad.

We would like to convey our anger at the recent decision of the IPCC to abandon the criminal investigation and limit their investigation to misconduct by the officers. We look at the deaths of Marcus Cottoy in custody recently in High Wycombe and the death of Sean Rigg in London a month after Paps died and wonder how people can die in these circumstances … and how many of these deaths will be put down to being “accidents”. We also see in the recent investigation into the death of Ian Tomlinson that if the police can do something like this in broad daylight in front of the public what do they then do in police cells, in their vehicles and in quiet car parks? We are still unhappy about the level of force that was used by the officers and the lack of first aid and resuscitation that was given at the scene.

We are challenging this decision and have instructed our legal team under Jules Carey at Tuckers to mount a judicial review of this and we have a permission hearing on 19 May in the High Court in London. Over the last few months we have gone through the post-mortem and pathologist report and we feel there is enough evidence there and enough grounds for a successful prosecution of the police. We do not do this because we are anti-police or that we want to create trouble but because our brother deserves justice and our family particularly his children deserve it too. Our brother Habib had a good heart and was the kind of person who would help everyone and we want to make sure that not only we get justice but we can help others who have had to go through a death in custody.

We would like to thank all those people who have continued to support our campaign particularly on Facebook and their messages for us and the children have been very comforting. We will continue to fight for our brother and in the next few months there will be further events and vigils and we support the newly formed United Campaign against Police Violence which has been set up after the tragic death of Ian Tomlinson.’

Raja Nasir Ullah and Nasrit Ullah (Brother and sister of Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah).

Related links

Read an IRR News story on: Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah

Read an IRR News story on: Vigils in memory of Habib Ullah

Read an IRR News story on: Two families unite for justice

Facebook page on Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah family campaign

Justice for Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah family campaign

United Campaign Against Police Violence

Contact the Justice for Habib 'Paps' Ullah campaign on 07869 360 377 or email: justiceforpaps@aim.com.

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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