Posts Tagged ‘frankland’

Further Racist Attacks In Frankland Prison

Background

News has reached us that HMP Frankland, run by Governor Bob Mullen, is still continuing to be a dangerous, hostile and racist environment for Muslim Prisoners. What is most disturbing is that despite continuous pressure being applied, he has done little to address the concerns of the inmate population, even when their lives are in danger.

In January, one inmate who does not wish to be named was attacked twice in a 48 hour period. The first attack was unprovoked by a person who delivered apunch so violently that it slammed him onto bars, splitting his head and making him lose conciousness. He required stitches, however they simply used glue to stop a very serious wound, an action which flies in the face of standard medical procedures for such an injury. He also overhead the nurses say that it was the first time they had ever used glue to treat an injury.

Incredibly, he was released back to his cell on the same wing the next day. He was then attacked again, this time within 2 days of the first attack. In the second attack, two prisoners bit off part of his ear, leaving it virtually hanging loose by a thread. The inmate states that two officers where in the vicinity within 20 meters with a clear line of vision, and they waited until the attack had ended before intervening. He was then assaulted by the Prison Officers, being handcuffed and held to the floor whilst putting pressure on his back. They also pushed his head to one side, forcing his injured ear to the floor, causing excruciating pain. He also suffered sight loss in both eyes.

He was then taken to segregation, and despite continually asking for assistance with his ear nearly dislodged from his head, he was not even responded to for over 1 hour. After one hour, an officer responded by taken his shoes away from him. He has still not had them returned.

He was eventually seen 5 hours later from the attack by a doctor, who informed him that he would require plastic surgery. This term was not explained to the inmate, and as a result he was unsure what this actually meant. It was clear that he required major surgery, however the nurses informed him he would not be able to do this as he was a ‘high risk’ prisoner.

As a result, his ear injury was treated with paracetomol and anti-biotics. This of course did nothing to alleviate the pain. This left him unable to pray as the bleeding did not cease, and made it next to impossible for him to sleep. After 5 days of non-treatment, and suffering stress and trauma as a result, he requested to leave the hospital wing. The prison tried to make him return to the same wing on which he was based, which of course he refused. For this, he was sent to solitary confinement for refusing a direct order.

Whilst in Solitary, there have been race riots in which the ethnic minority prisoners were attacked by the white prisoners. The ethnic prisoners were then punished for being attacked by being placed in segregation and then moved to another establishment.

It is clear that there are serious issues that have failed to be addressed, and the prison may well be operating a fiefdom which it believes it does not have to obey its legal obligations.

• There is still racist grafitti left in cells and public areas which has not been removed, despite this being raised in courts over 6 months ago.

• There is no CCTV on F and G Wings, despite their being numerous attacks on minority inmates within that wing

• The Prison Officers are 90% white. This should not be an issue, however it becomes one when it is clear that preferential treatment is being given to white inmates, whilst ethnic minority inmates are being victimised

• The Legal rooms do not offer confidentiality. Any conversations are clearly audible and listened to by Prison Officers.

• Some inmates, mainly muslim inmates, are required to move cells every month.

• Inadequate and discriminatory healthcare is still being offered to muslim inmates directly injured as a result of the prisons’ failure to protect their safety. This is in spite of this issue being raised in relation to Eesa Barot before his transfer.

• There were race riots on at least one occasion, and rather than addressing the issues raised from this incident, the prison chose to cover it up and under-report it.

• Inadequate training of staff to deal with muslim prisoners. They could not, or did not want to, understand the inmates repeated requests for medical assistance. They also did not intervene when a muslim inmate was being attacked.

It is clear that HMP Frankland under Governor Bob Mullen is unable to protect the rights and safety of muslim and ethnic minority inmates within its prison. We call on the prison service to investigate the issues raised within this, and if it cannot provide for ethnic minority or muslim prisoners at HMP Frankland, then it should not be housing them there. All prisoners, regardless of their crimes real or alleged, have the right to be protected and treated equally. The restriction on freedom and the fact they are held in an establishment where their movements are restricted is the punishment of prison. There should be no further punishment because of the colour of someones skin or their religious affliation.

Actions Required

•Write Letters and Make Phonecalls to HMP Frankland, making them aware of the issues raised in this alert. A sample letter is included.

•Contact your member of parliament, asking them to investigate the above issues.

•Contact the Prison Inspectorate, Anne Owers.

Key Contacts

H M Prison Service
Parliamentary, Correspondence & Briefing Unit
Room 536
Cleland
Page Street
London
SW1P 4LN
FAX: 0207 217 6403     
Governor Bob Mullen

HMP Frankland
Brasside
Durham
DH1 5YD
Tel: 0191 332 3000
Fax: 0191 332 3001

Anne Owers, Prison Inspectorate
Ashley House
2 Monck Street
London
SW1P 2BQ
Tel 020 7035 2876 or 0845 010 7938 (lo-call)
Fax 020 7035 2860
Email: mail@ppo.gsi.gov.uk
 

Sample Letter

Dear Mr Mullen,

I write this letter with dismay, to see that despite you having been made aware on numerous occasions that your prison and prison officers are delivering discriminatory treatment to muslim prisoners, you have done little to address the continually deteriorating situation at your prison.

• There is still racist grafitti left in cells and public areas which has not been removed, despite this being raised in courts over 6 months ago.

• There is no CCTV on F and G Wings, despite their being numerous attacks on minority inmates within that wing

• Inadequate training of staff to deal with muslim prisoners. They could not, or did not want to, understand the inmates repeated requests for medical assistance. They also did not intervene when a muslim inmate was being attacked.

• There were race riots on at least one occasion, and rather than addressing the issues raised from this incident, the prison chose to cover it up and under-report it.

• The Legal rooms do not offer confidentiality. Any conversations are clearly audible and listened to by Prison Officers.
• Inadequate and discriminatory healthcare is still being offered to muslim inmates directly injured as a result of the prisons’ failure to protect their safety. This is in spite of this issue being raised in relation to Eesa Barot before his transfer.

I would advise you that if you are unable to protect the safety and wellbeing of muslim inmates at your prison, then you should not be housing them there. There have been to date, that the public know about, 5 serious assaults involving an attacks on muslim prisoners and their belongings.

I believe that unless you are able to protect muslim inmates safety and ensure that your prison officers cease their discriminatory and racist behaviour, then the ethnic minority and muslim prisoners should be rehoused immediately. I will also be raising this with my member of parliament and the inspectorate of prisons.

Regards,
 

SOURCE: Help The Prisoners and Arani Solicitors

Omar Khyam Has Finally Been Moved From HMP Frankland

Assalaamu alaikum

 Omar Khyam was finally moved from HMP Frankland to HMP Full Sutton in York on the 30th of January 2008. He is no longer in solitary confinement. Omar was held in solitary confinement from 17th October until 30th January under very difficult conditions. Alhamdulillah he has finally been moved and is no longer living in such restrictions. Jazaak Allah khair to all those who campaigned for him and made du’aa for him.

We must not forget that Eesa Barot and Hussain Osman are still in Frankland and that we must still try to get them moved as well. So please keep them in your du’aas and continue your support towards them inshallah.

Wassalaam

Umm Ibrahim

A Poem Dedicated To Eesa Barot

This is a poem dedicated to Eesa Barot:

With Hardship Comes Ease
 
 

Ya Ummati!

May I ask for a few moments from your busy, hectic lifestyle

For you to tear away from worldly pursuits just for a while:

Have you ever wondered what it must feel like being all alone

Trapped in a tiny cell for years on end, mentally torn and worn

Hatred manifesting from fellow inmates, vulnerable to attack

Slandered constantly on the outside, neglected for being black

Our brothers endure this treatment on an all-too regular basis

Why are they no more to you than nameless criminal faces?

You would readily snatch your own blood from a lion’s jaws

Leaping to their rescue without a second thought or pause

It becomes so very easy to enter a house that’s burning down

When your family’s trapped inside who you hear scream & shout

What if compassion was non-existant with no Rahma on this earth

Having loved ones we come to learn what relationships are worth

 

Would you not also save someone witnessed drowning out at sea

Be he Muslim or non-Muslim, whatever race, creed or nationality

No doubt exhausting all effort in this courageous act of humanity

You would do all it takes to save this person from such calamity

Why then do you show negligence in helping your Muslim brother
Who is imprisoned simply for testifying to ALLAAH and no other

Answer his cry for he questions where the Ummah has gone

Help your brother before you too need help and find no-one..

Ya Akhi!

That Day when mankind shall stand in straightened rows

And the worldly Muslim bites his fingers in regret and woe

When questioned what steps he took for innocents detained

If only he had remembered them, if only he’d felt their pain

When the Body ached with oppression he was nowhere in sight

Yet he claims of belonging to the Ummah.. But with what right?

Sweet scent emanating from your wounds insha’allaah that Day

Bearing proof of a true believer’s steadfastness in Allaah’s Way

My beloved brother, you are not the first nor are you the last

Marking history forever like incarcerated Muslims of the past

In every language of the world is your story being narrated

Du’a made collectively for an end to this mighty fitna created

When you ask for what crime were you abandoned in this way

What answers will we give and what excuses can we make

Why is honour violated today when our numbers are so vast

Huge armies once marched forth, cities flattened in the past

Your blood and honour too is sacred like the Day of ‘Arafat

How can we remove this wahn settled in the Muslim’s heart

A day is surely near bringing relief from this vicious violence

All shall become aware of your lengthy suffering in silence

My brother, don’t ever despair for Allaah is Witnessing all

He has given you ‘eemaan the greatest Blessing after all

With this in your heart and dhikr constant on your tongue

Eternal happiness awaits you…

For it is never the oppressed but oppressor in the wrong.

Written by UR (Nelson, UK)

From Kufr to Islam, From Imprisonment to Freedom

Brother Abdul Hakim AKA Shevon Smith has written a letter regarding his experience in prison and wants to share it with his brothers and sisters of the Ummah. You can view the original letter by clicking on the following links: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3.

Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Raheem

O Allah bestow Your favour upon Muhammad and his wives and his Ummah. May Allah increase our eeman and grant us taqwa whilst leaving in our footprints righteousness, Ameen.

 

To my dear brothers and sisters in Islam, Assalaamu Alaikum WR WB.

 

As you can see I am now answering to the name Abdul Hakim and have been for the last 14 months, but I actually took my shahadah in June 2001 and this is one of the issues that I want to talk about. For those five years or so I was living my life in continued ignorance, walking around in a state of Kufr, whilst still calling myself a Muslim.

 

Let me explain: I had no idea how to pray, how to make wudhu and the do’s and don’ts of Islam. I had never read more than a few pages of the Quran. I think the reason for all of this was PRIDE and SHAME – the whispering of shaytan – rather than ask the simple questions how and why do I do this and that, I pretended as if I already knew. Drugs, alcohol, fighting mine and my friend’s battles and being in touch with the latest style of music that’s being used to corrupt the minds of those that listen to it. These were the things that mattered to me and my friends, the great majority of which were non-believers. The point I’m trying to get across is that (I believe) because of the lack of dawa, either from the words or actions of other Muslim brothers, shaytan was winning the battle in keeping me from the one true path. The two points I am trying to make are:

  1. We as Muslims should never shy away from asking for the help of our brothers and sisters in matters like seeking knowledge.
  1. It’s our responsibility to make sure that our brothers and sisters feel comfortable in trying to learn from us, but we should try to make our dawa interesting so the persons don’t mind spending time listening and remembering what’s being said to them. ( I mean why talk to a gunman about knives? He will not be interested)

I started this my first and only time in prison aged 18 in Feltham YOI in 1997, and I personally never saw anybody practising Islam seriously. I was made an adult prisoner aged 19 (due to bad behaviour) and sent to an adult institute namely HMP Whitemoor. Now maybe because I was just running about, doing my own thing, or maybe not, but I saw only a few brothers who lived their lives under Islam. This was the same for me in HMP Long Lartin, HMP Full Sutton, and HMP Frankland. It was whilst on my second time around these prisons Whitemoor and Long Lartin that I first started to see brothers who were actually practising the Deen and this was 2005-2006, SubhanAllah, still it was just a few brothers. Then I went to HMP Belmarsh, MashAllah, lots and lots of strong brothers, the eeman has to increase because of the amount of brothers there. Anyway I was there for about six months before going back to Frankland and alhamdulillah I’ve now seen and heard about many brothers who are now practising the Deen. It ranges from brothers who have been practising for a long time, to brothers who have just accepted Islam, from brothers who MashAllah are very knowledgeable to brothers who are not so knowledgeable but are in search of knowledge.

 

And it is for this reason that I am saying that as Muslims have a duty to let our action be our first course for dawa, so that people can help them to feel comfortable to ask questions that’s been on their minds. We should use the wisdom that we have to which brothers are struggling, and give them the answers to questions that they don’t yet know, but would greatly benefit them.

 

Now, as for the personal change that I have gone through over the last year or so. I’d say that alhamdulillah, my eeman, taqwa and birr has increased. This in turn has changed my whole way of life. From the way I walk and talk to the people who I walk and talk with. The crazy music that I use to listen to and drink to and dance to and do drugs to has all changed. And where before I use to respect what I did and the people who did what I did, I no longer have that respect for it or them.

 

Now I listen to the recitation of the holy Quran, nasheeds or lectures. And when I read, I read the translation of the holy Quran or books that give me a better understanding of Islam and the people of Islam (Majority of the time).

 

I try to be humble in my actions and thoughts and polite and understanding. Whereas before my confrontations were mostly about things that were haraam and for causes that were to do with my fighting for things of dunya. ‘Now’ I accept little if any violation but my cause is the fight for Jannah. And the concept of wanting for my brothers what I want for myself is very much a big part of my life.

 

Insha-Allah I have been able to bring some kind of understanding of how Islam is on an increase in Prison as well as outside. I live from salah to salah and Insha-Allah one day I’ll be able to get married and make hajj.

 

May Allah keep us all guided on the true path on Islam, Ameen. Raise your hands for us as we raise our hands for you.

Wa alaikum assalaam.

 

Abdul Hakim AKA Shevon Smith

 

 

Please write to this brother and offer your support inshallah:

Shevon Smith

BC4664

HMP Frankland

Brasside

Durham

DH1 5YD

Statement By Omar Khyam’s Wife At The POF Event In Slough

For those of you who missed the statement at the event, or couldn’t hear it properly, here it is:

 

In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.

All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatu. I am the wife of Umar Khyam and I want you all to know how the prisoners are being treated in prison today in this ‘democratic’ country. As you all may know, Umar was convicted in April 2007. He was then moved from Belmarsh to Frankland on 30th June with is situated in Durham, for all those who don’t know where that is, it is on the border of Scotland. Since he stepped foot into that prison, he has had nothing but trouble. He has received death threats and been treated with hatred. We have seen a pattern in the way that Muslim prisoners are being transferred. It seems so so-called leaders are being moved to Frankland. And if we ask ourselves, why is this happening? And then you see the pattern of how the high security Muslim prisoners are being treated in Frankland. On Friday 6th July Eesa Bharot was horrifically attacked with both boiling water and boiling oil! Hussein Osman had his cell set alight by inmates burning all of his belongings leaving him with no clothes or books or anything. Umar has had to live in such difficult conditions in segregation. But all along the prison service and the prison has been aware of the threats taking place against the Muslims in Frankland, and yet they ALLOWED the attacks to take place and took no steps to protect them.

We then started an urgent action alert to write to the governor and demand for Umar to be moved for his protection, in which the governor gave a very general reply on the prison procedures, but nothing about the actual events that had taken place. Who is responsible for the activities taking place in Frankland? Isn’t it the governor? And yet he is hiding behind the data protection act! But what excuse does he have with the solicitor? Why does the solicitor still have no explanation for what is taking place? But it doesn’t stop here! Even the black non-Muslims feel threatened and claim it is a racist prison. Ethnic minority in Frankland is just 10%, lower than in any other prison. There are racist slogans plastered all over the walls, do the guards and the governors not see these? Of course they do, but they turn a blind eye to it.

Now they are attacking anybody who is just Muslim. They set Yaqoob’s cell on fire and physically attacked him. He isn’t in prison for terrorism but he is still being targeted. I ask you, how many times do you expect to slap someone before they will slap you back? We tried everything through their method and their procedures and what action was taken? None whatsoever! So now the brother’s are getting attacked just for being Muslim! Not even because they are in there for terrorism but because they are Muslim. The Muslims then had no choice but to fight back! So now there are attacks taking place in Frankland from both sides! So much so that majority of the Muslims have now ended up in solitary confinement due to defending themselves against these attackers! So whose fault is this? I blame the governor. He knew full well what was happening and decided to ignore it. He did NOTHING to protect them so they had no choice but to take matters in to their own hands and protect themselves. They have been backed into the corner and pushed to take such actions. Abu Umamah Bin Sahl narrated from his father that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “He in whose presence a Muslim is humiliated and who does not help him, being able to help him, Allah will humiliate him before all creatures on the Day of Judgment”. (Ahmad)

I have tried all the channels, from MP’s, to governors, to lawyers to getting support from public. And after all this it seems to me that Muslims in prison have no rights! They don’t have a right to be protected and yet paedophiles and rapists have much more rights and protection than Muslims. This is becoming a bigger problem, and so I keep saying but nobody seems to hear me when I keep saying “do something before things get out of hand!”

We as Muslims have a duty to our brothers in prison. Regardless of what they are in there for, nobody deserves such treatment. How is it that the governor is getting away with all of these issues taking place in Frankland? All I ask from you is that you should know that their test hasn’t ended yet; it’s getting more difficult and will continue to get more difficult. For them, they are being tested and Allah is rewarding them for their struggle. But what about us? We walk about through our daily life not having a clue what our brothers are going through! And will Allah not ask us what we did for our brothers when they were being tested so severely? How many have written to them words of comfort? How many have comforted their families? How many have offered advice? How many have made du’aa for them? We need to ask ourselves these questions and reflect. Do not think that just because you don’t know these brothers it doesn’t matter, because whether you like it or not, they are your brothers and you have a duty to them. We requested people to write words of comfort and support to these brothers on the prisoners of faith blog, so they know that they are not forgotten, and yet we didn’t even receive one. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He does not wrong him, forsake him or despise him.” (Bukhari)

The other issue I want to speak about is our brother Moutaz Dabbas. I know that many of you brothers in Slough knew him and many sisters may have heard of or know his wife. He has eight children, MashAllah, and was arrested on 19th March 2005 for extradition to Spain. He was extradited to Spain on 11th March 2007. I have to say that I am very disappointed with those of you who live in Slough and yet had no time to knock on her door and see if she needed anything, those who didn’t have money to give, those who didn’t have time to help her with her shopping, those who had cars but didn’t drive her to see her husband, those sisters who didn’t have time to pick up the phone and make a five minute call to see how she is feeling, those sisters who couldn’t give her a few words of comfort, those who never asked if her children needed anything, those who never even said Eid Mubarak to them, those who never gave them a gift, shame on us all. Do you not fear Allah?

This test is not just for her family, it is for every single one of you in this community! You have a duty to her, in the absence of her husband, should you not take care of her?? And then we wonder why we are in the state we’re in. Subhanallah. We have a lot to answer for. Do you know that she has no family here in the UK? Do you know that she has no support except from a non-Muslim neighbour who has supported her for the last two years? Does that not make us feel embarrassed and ashamed? That this woman can support her and we can’t? That she takes her children to school and baby-sits her children when she needs to go somewhere. She calls her daily even though she is no longer her neighbour anymore. That the children are so close and attached to her now, they have become a part of their lives. Subhanallah, her husband does all the DIY jobs in her house. The neighbours daughter has spent so much time with them that she wants to wear hijab, she tries to pray salah with them. Subhanallah. May Allah guide them to Islam, Ameen. And the Muslim community in Slough is so big MashAllah, but what is the point? When you can’t even give a few minutes to this sister and her children! As far as I know brother Moutaz was a very good brother to you all and how do you think it makes him feel to know that nobody has supported his wife and eight children? The Prophet peace be upon him said: “None of you has eeman (faith) until he desires for his Muslim brother (or sister) that which he desires for himself (or herself).” (Bukhari and Muslim). Ask yourself, is this what you would desire for your wife and children?

And for those of you who are mothers, I am sure you know that bringing up children is not an easy task. Well just imagine eight of them and no support. Imagine being forced to move from house to house. Imagine no husband to do the shopping. Imagine no sisters ever came round for a cup of tea or to get your mind off things. Imagine there was no-one to take your kids out and they keep asking you to take them somewhere. Imagine your kids crying at night, wanting to see their father but there is no-one is your community who is willing to take you. Imagine being all alone, nobody to talk to when things get tough and nobody to turn to except Allah. How would you feel? Put yourselves in her situation, does it not sadden you? We can’t even begin to imagine even one day of her life. Allah gave us an opportunity to gain reward and to help this sister, but we chose not to, and that is a big failure for this community. There is still time for you to come forward and support this sister, because her husband still isn’t here and she still has eight growing children to bring up. May Allah ease her affairs, grant her patience, may He grant her to be steadfast, elevate her status in Jannah and return her husband to her safely, Ameen. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “One who helps a fellow Muslim in removing his (or her) difficulty in this world, Allah will remove the former’s distress on the Day of Judgement. He who helps to remove the hardship of another, will have his difficulties removed by Allah in this world and in the Hereafter. One who covers the shortcomings of another Muslim, will have his faults covered up in this world and the next by Allah. Allah continues to help a servant so long as he goes on helping his own brother (or sister).” (Muslim)

And what about Samina? The one who was abandoned and left alone to face such a trial on her own. She’s the one who spent six months in prison and has been on house arrest for nine months. She is not allowed to step out of the house. She has five random calls per day for voice recognition and if she misses even one, the police will come and take her back to prison. She is not allowed any mobile phones in the house or internet. She is living in such harsh conditions and yet if you ask her who has supported her, who has been to visit her, you will find the answer to be two maybe three sisters and that because they were in prison with her. Subhanallah. Is this what it has come to? Only if you have been in prison then you will support others, otherwise you will just abandon them? And she isn’t the only one. There are more sisters who are yet awaiting trial and been in prison and now either on house arrest or on bail. How many of us know who they are, or what their names are, or where they live? The truth is, we are too busy in our lives and comfortable with the circle of friends we have and don’t make the effort to find out. Do we not feel their pain anymore? Are they not our sisters? Do we not have a duty to them? And who will comfort them or support them in their time of need? They have Allah, and remember Allah will never leave them and they are close to their Lord. Allah only tests those that He loves, and He is washing away their sins. But what excuse do we have to abandon these sisters? Did they really commit such a big crime to deserve our abandonment and this harsh treatment?

In conclusion; I would like to say that always remember one thing, your few words of comfort to these sisters, detainees or families of detainees are more valuable than all the money you can ever offer them. I don’t ask for a lot, but just this, please don’t forget them, don’t abandon them and don’t hurt them, don’t look down on them and don’t judge them. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Do not be envious of other Muslims; do not overbid at auctions against another Muslim; do not have malice against a Muslim; do not go against a Muslim and forsake him; do not make an offering during a pending transaction. O’ servants of Allah, be like brothers (or sisters) with each other. A Muslim is the brother (or sister) of another Muslim; do not hurt him (or her), or look down upon him (or her) or bring shame on him (or her). Piety is a matter of heart (The Prophet (peace be upon him) repeated this thrice). It is enough evil for a person to look down upon his Muslim brother (or sister). The blood, property and honour of a Muslim is inviolable to a Muslim.” (Muslim)

 Please forgive me if I have said anything wrong or offensive to anyone, Wassalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatu.

Building Bridges Or Building Reputation?

I attended a meeting called building bridges day, which was set up by various organisations. Mainly, HM Prison Service, NOMS (National Offender Management Service), MCA (Muslim Chaplains Association) which is aimed at communities working together to stop re-offending and to provide better services within the prison system. Many other different organisations, MP’s and volunteers attending and there were roughly three hundred people present at the meeting. I went with an open mind and my initial thoughts on this meeting were that it is an excellent attempt to bring together all the people that mattered and were capable of making a real difference and reflected sincerity on all parts. There were Imams from prisons involved speaking about progress and there were representatives from HMP Service. After hearing these people talk I was very impressed as they sounded sincere as though they really wanted a change and were reaching out to the Muslim community.

Throughout my campaign against racism and protection for those prisoners who require it most, all I have ever wanted to do is have my voice heard. The opportunity to be present with all of these people, all under one roof was almost like a dream come true for me. I have attempted writing to MP’s, Governors, and the HMP Service and felt nobody was listening and I never got an adequate response.

After a series of introductions there were workshops in which again organisations were speaking about how they want to go forward and help in any way they can and attempts that have already been made. I then heard a talk which inspired me with hope and confidence that there was light at the end of the tunnel. Nick Pascoe, the London area Manager of HMP Service spoke about Zahid Mubarak and how he was delighted to have this opportunity to work with all these organisations and with Muslims and how he aims to tackle the very same problem that I am addressing. After hearing this speech I was expecting some sort of discussion, or questions and answers, but there wasn’t any. However, I had made my mind up at that point that I would address my problem to him personally as he sounded both sincere and passionate about his work and we both were tackling the same issue.

When the break came, I realised there wouldn’t be any opportunity to air my concerns, so I approached him personally. I introduced myself and told him exactly what had happened with Omar Khyam, Eesa Barot and Hussein Osman. I spoke for a good five minutes and I received no response from him. I spoke about how the prison was racist and horrific attacks taking place and the Governor knowing full well this was taking place and the Prison service’s lack of concern. But sadly, it appeared as though my words fell upon deaf ears. There was no expression of remorse that these horrific incidents were taking place and the first words that came out of his mouth were; “There are racist people everywhere, there is not much we can do about that”. I was shocked that this same man who stood up in front of everyone and spoke about Zahid Mubarak’s racist attack about wanting to eradicate racism and was in a position of influence, being the area manager, a person who could make a change, responded in this manner. I then went on to say, the guards and the governor are aware that Frankland is a racist prison and I believe moving them there was done on purpose and that Nick Pascoe was not taking me seriously and will only take me seriously when my husband is killed, and will become another Zahid Mubarak for them to talk about. And why does it have to come to that to get action or concern from them. He didn’t say anything. I even said I hold him, HMP Service, and the governor of Frankland responsible for the attacks taking place. And I kept trying to explain the seriousness of the situation and asked him at least to say he will speak to somebody for me if he can’t do anything for me. He then said he would talk to somebody but not in a very reassuring tone. He was then called away and I didn’t get an opportunity to get his contact details. At this point I was really disheartened and began to question the motive of this meeting. Was it really to build bridges? Was it really to bridge the gap? Was it really to establish a solution? Or was it simply to build a reputation? 

Further to my disappointment was the response from the Muslim Imams from the prisons. They made mention of the minor  issues, but when we brought the bigger issues to their attention, they avoided the major issues at hand. It felt that nobody really wanted to deal with the real problems we are facing. I left early as I couldn’t stand to be in this fake environment anymore.

 There is an article in the Guardian (click here to view article) in which Phil Wheatley, the director general of HMP Service, has spoken about issues in prison.

He warned against a strategy of concentrating convicted terrorists, arguing that the experience of the H-blocks in the Maze prison in Northern Ireland had shown that it led to their forming tight cells in which they could plot further acts in and out of prison and radicalise others. “If we have a very large increase that takes us beyond our current category A capacity then we would have to build more high-security prisons or convert existing prisons, giving them extra security,” said Mr. Wheatley. “I am confident we would not be left trying to look after category A prisoners with no prisons to keep them in.” He said the balance in the argument lay with dispersing convicted terrorist prisoners throughout the high-security prison estate, with renewed efforts to monitor their activities and counter any attempts to radicalise others.

Previously, the HMP Service claimed their reasons for moving these prisoners to Frankland were due to no space, where as in this article, he clearly states that there’s plenty of space and not just that, but they are dispersing them on purpose. And in particular cases, to racist prisons. The question still remains, who will protect the prisoners in the prisons if the authorities are evading the issues?

Written by Umm Ibrahim

Tensions Mount In Frankland

 Today Omar Khyam called and informed me of two Muslim inmates that were on his wing have now been transferred to a different prison. After an attack taking place a week ago now they are slowly removing all the Muslims and isolating Omar and Hussein Osman. Tomorrow another Muslim in-mate will also be transferred to a different prison. And then there will only be two Muslim in-mates on a wing where one has already been attacked and the other threatened. Subhanallah. This is the justice. This is the priority the governor at Frankland has given to those threatened in Frankland. He has removed the only support they had. But the governor doesn’t know that they can take away every help from them but if Allah does not allow them to be harmed he can do all he wants they won’t be harmed. And if Allah wills for them to be harmed then there is nothing we can do to stop it.

Now the question arises, how are Omar and Hussein expected to carry on staying in this prison? They are a very small minority and I believe this has been done on purpose. If there was space to move three category A prisoners to a different a high security prison, then shouldn’t Eesa, Hussein and Omar have been a priority to be moved? After we exhausted all efforts to alert the prison, the prison service, the human rights organisations, they STILL put their lives at risk now more than ever. If we start writing to them and asking for action, who knows what will happen in that time? I ask you, who will be responsible if Hussein or Omar get attacked?

My dear brothers and sisters, these are our brothers that are being targeted here. How can we sit back and allow this to happen? Will Allah not ask us what did we do? I urge you all to take action for them. Firstly, to ask Allah to protect them and to move them from there. Secondly, to write to the governor and demand an explanation for this step he has taken and to move them immediately. Thirdly, leave messages of support for these brother’s in the comments section so they can be forwarded on to them. They need to know that even though those brothers have been moved, they are not on their own. And you all are praying for them and supporting them by taking action.

Written by Umm Ibrahim

Another Attack On a Muslim In Frankland

Just when people start to forget the horrific incident with Eesa Barot and Hussein Osman, it happens again. Muslim inmate, Yaqoob, had his cell set on fire and attacked physically on Monday 8th October in Frankland. It is still not clear of the details as he was moved straight away, this may be because he is in healthcare. This is the third attack on Muslim inmates now in the same prison within a few months. Are the Muslims expected to just carry on being attacked and do nothing? Or is it time to retaliate?

When the Irish went through the same thing when they were imprisoned what did they do? They retaliated and fought back and it resulted in separate wings for the Irish. Will the Muslims now have to do the same for their protection? But I suppose if they do then as usual they will be painted in the media as ‘barbaric’ and ‘evil’. 

This is becoming a bigger problem and I urge the prison service and Frankland to do their duty of protecting the prisoners, because if they don’t, then its only a matter of time before the Muslims fight back. I urge all you brothers and sisters to remember this brother and his family in your du’aas and please keep on writing to the governor and ask him why is he allowing this to happen and to move the Muslim prisoners from there.

We as a Muslim community will not sit back and allow this to keep happening to our brothers. We have a duty to them. They are locked up and are being attacked. We have to be their voice and fight for them, we have to be their shield to protect them. We have no excuse after reading this to do nothing. They are attacking our brothers one by one, we need to get the others moved before they too are attacked. Please keep writing to the governor regarding Omar Khyam. Do not think that writing letters does not work, as Umm Tayyab says it worked for her when brothers in Canada were going through similar problems in prison. She kept writing and appealing and getting people to act and Alhamdulillah the situation eased.

O Allah Please protect our brothers and sisters in prison, not just here but wherever they may be. Grant our brother Yaqoob patience and a quick healing, cause him to be steadfast and strong. O Allah grant his family patience and strength and make them a strong pillar and support for him. Return him safe to his family. O Allah grant patience and quick healing to our brother Eesa. O Allah grant patience and protection to our brother Osman. O Allah move all these brothers far away from evil people who carry out such evil acts. O Allah keep them safe from harm. O Allah break the shackles of our prisoners wherever they may be. O Allah break the shackles of our prisoners wherever they may be. O Allah break the shackles of our prisoners wherever they may be. Allahumma Ameen.

 Written by Umm Ibrahim (Mrs Khyam)

ACTION ALERT: Detainee Facing Serious Risk Of Death

 Detainees at HMP Frankland are facing the very real risk of death after numerous threats from other prisoners. Despite the prison governor having been informed of these threats, nothing has been done to safeguard the security of these detainees.

On 10th July 2007 Omar Khyam, a detainee at HMP Frankland voluntarily requested he be moved into segregation after efforts by his solicitors to have him transferred to a safer prison failed. The request followed threats of murder and burning by fellow inmates.

Three days after Omar’s move to segregation, Esa Barot, another Muslim prisoner, had boiling water and oil poured over his body resulting in 2nd and 3rd degree burns over his body. The attacks also resulted in Barot losing sight in one eye. Had Omar not been move into segregation, he may well have been victim to that attack.

Despite the innumerable requests to have Omar moved, the prison administration refuses to accept that HMP Frankland is an unsafe place for Muslim detainees. According to a letter dated 19th July 2007 in which they stated,

“Frankland is a safe and secure environment as well as being an appropriate location for your client.” They also said “Whilst the incident in relation to Mr Barot is certainly most regrettable, this is not in itself evidence that Frankland is an unsuitable location for your client.”

On 23rd July 2007 however, the cell of Hussein Osman was burnt down with all his belongings on the inside.

Omar Khyam has been kept in segregation for his own safety, however such a situation is unacceptable for his safety in long term detention. In segregation the prisoners are not given any access to clothes, books, any reading material, his television or newspapers, he has been denied any privileges and treated as if he is in segregation due to punishment.

A transfer to a more secure prison must take place for the safety of not only Omar, but all Muslim detainees there. The Governor at HMP Frankland must take note of the very real threat and danger posed to Muslim detainees in his prison, especially in light of incidents which have already taken place.

TAKE ACTION FOR OMAR KHYAM Write to the Governor of HMP Frankland urging for Omar Khyam and other Muslim inmates to be urgently transferred to a more secure prison.Please send your letters immediately to:
The Governor

HMP Frankland, 
Brasside,
Durham,
DH1 5YD

The following sample letter can be used as a template:

___________________________________

Dear Mr. Mullen,

I am writing to you regarding my concerns that Omar Khyam has received death threats at HMP Frankland. I understand that following these threats and his voluntary retreat into the segregation unit Dhiren Barot was severely scalded and Hussein Osman’s cell was burnt. Threats have been made against Omar and were it not for his voluntary move to segregation, he could well have been a victim of these attacks. This letter is being written to urge you to reconsider his transfer in light of the situation at HMP Frankland.

As governor of a high security prison you are well-aware of the psychological effects of solitary confinement. It is surprising to hear that Omar has had to endure the loss of privileges that accompanies being in segregation, despite the fact that he went in there voluntarily, and not because he was being reprimanded.

Omar Khyam cannot remain on the segregation wing indefinitely. Our prisons do not yet have the same safety measures in place to protect Muslim inmates as are taken to protect paedophiles i.e. a separate wing. I refer you to an article on the BBC news site which describes prisoners who were involved in a minor attack were moved within days: “Prisoners have been moved from a jail following two separate incidents in which inmates were attacked.  Two prisoners were assaulted with a “sharp implement” at Wellingborough Prison, in Northamptonshire, on Wednesday and Friday. The Home Office said a number of prisoners had been transferred to other establishments “in order to maintain order and security”. In both incidents, those attacked suffered minor injuries.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/northamptonshire/5135424.stm

I urge you to write to the Home Secretary and put in an application for the immediate transfer of Omar Khyam to a prison with a higher Muslim population for his safety. Would you please make this a priority as we are very much concerned of the safety of Omar Khyam and other inmates in a similar situation.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours Sincerely,