Death of Bangladeshi woman in police custody

July 24, 2014 — News

Written by Betsy Barkas

A 30-year-old Bangladeshi woman has died in police custody in Walsall, West Midlands, shortly after being arrested.

Sharmilla Ullah was detained on suspicion of shoplifting and taken to Bloxwich police station on 9 July. She became unwell whilst in custody and was taken to Walsall Manor hospital where she received treatment, before she was released back into police custody in the early hours of 10 July. Later that morning Sharmilla was taken back to hospital, but was declared dead shortly after arrival.

Sabina Khadija, the sister of Ms Ullah, told local press last week that the family urgently wanted to know what had happened to her: ‘My mum and my sisters and I are all devastated that Sharmilla has died and we just want to know what happened between her being arrested and her dying. Sharmilla was the youngest sister of seven and she was always full of life’. Officers told the family that Sharmilla had died in her cell, the Express and Star reported.

A spokesperson for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) confirmed to IRR News that the cause of death has not been ascertained and that it has mounted an investigation. It has yet to issue an official press release, some two weeks after the death.

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

Comments

July 29, 2014
Juanita:

The reason for her being in police care is not relevant. What matters now is to make sure the truth is told and any wrong actions or decisions are exposed and taken to account.

It is another person dying in police hands – yet the law of this land fails to find out why or prevent similar from happening again. Justice for the victim and the family is important. No more cover ups or lies from police.

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