Racist attack victim prosecuted

May 2, 2013 — News

Written by IRR News Team

Last month, charges against Zulf Shah for actual bodily harm were thrown out of court for lack of evidence.

Zulf was charged following a racist attack by a man and a woman, in which he was punched and kicked unconscious, and then repeatedly kicked as he lay on the ground. Before the assault, the man commented on Zulf’s clothing saying ‘What’s that dress your wearing’ and after the assault the woman said: ‘This is what happens to your kind of people.’ The attack, which was witnessed by his 4-year-old daughter, took place outside his home in High Wycombe after he challenged a group of young people who were kicking a ball against his car.

Ever since the Shah family moved to the Micklefield area of High Wycombe in June 2011, they have experienced racial abuse, criminal damage to their car and general anti-social behaviour. According to Zulf Shah there has been, ‘A total failure to give my family and me the support and care that was needed. For them to try and charge me with an offence was a complete and utter travesty of justice.’ He is very critical of Thames Valley Police, local councillors and Red Kite housing association’s failure to take action, saying: ‘Police officers collected statements from the thugs that racially abused my family and attacked me but did not take any statements from myself my wife or children, the person who took to me to hospital and even the neighbours who witnessed the attack and the harassment.’

The Shah family, who are being assisted by Zia Ullah from the Justice4Paps campaign,[1] have subsequently been contacted by other families, including white ones, about the high levels of anti-social behaviour, but in particular racial violence and harassment in the area dating back to 2009.

Zia Ullah told IRR News: ‘Thames Valley Police choose to ignore racist and hate crime, they don’t want to acknowledge it or even want to comprehend it. These families suffered and suffer because of the lack of intelligence of the TVP and because of continuing poor institutional practice. Twenty years after Stephen Lawrence’s death, racial violence and harassment is still alive and kicking in High Wycombe whilst the authorities do nothing!’

Zia Ullah  and the Shah family are asking why no statements were initially collected from other witnesses including Zulf’s family, why no crime reference numbers given when requested, why statements from the families were not submitted to the court. Above all why was Zulf Shah treated as a perpetrator rather than a victim and why has no action been taken by the police or housing association against those who took part in the attack and the harassment against Zulf and his family?

Red Kite Housing Association told IRR News: ‘We are sorry that Mr Shah feels we have not acted how he would like us to. We are in regular contact with him and will work in partnership to try and resolve any issues he feels we can support him with as his landlord, in line with our approach to anti-social behaviour’.

Related links

Read an IRR News story: ‘Sudden about turn in Habib Ullah case

Justice for Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah

Read an IRR press release: ‘Racial violence since the death of Stephen Lawrence

[1] The Justice for Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah campaign was set up in July 2008 after the death of Habib during a routine stop and search in a car park in High Wycombe in 2008. So far the campaign, in partnership with family members, has organised nine vigils in the town centre/Police station, a demonstration through the town, three public meetings, and attended national and regional demonstrations against deaths in custody. See the Campaign website here.

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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