Posts Tagged ‘Osman’

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

Advertisements

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,