Asian News : 'Terror' arrest student tells of shock at arrest

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

'Terror' arrest student tells of shock at arrest

July 21, 2009

A student who had been accused of being part of an alleged terror plot spoke of his shock at being arrested.

Janus Khan from Pakistan was among 12 men held during raids in the north west in April.

He and another man, Sultan Sher who was arrested while working in an internet cafe in Cheetham Hill, were released from custody on Friday.

Mr Khan was arrested in Liverpool, where he lived.

He must now wear an electronic tag and is facing deportation.

He told how police officers burst in adding: "It was a scary and shocking moment."

The 26-year-old, who was studying at Liverpool Hope University, was friends with six of the original 12 detained.

He denied holding extremist views or discussing extremism among the group, he said.

Staying in a Manchester hostel following his release from prison, Mr Khan said he was interviewed by officers more than 10 times.

Mr Khan and Mr Sher, who was living in Manchester, were detained as the Home Office sought to deport, claiming they were a threat to national security.

But that allegation was dropped last week a solicitor for one of them has said.

Home Office officials said the government would seek to deport them for alleged visa irregularities.

Mr Sher and Mr Khan were arrested as part of Operation Pathway, which was launched early, after a senior police officer exposed details of the plans.

Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick, who resigned from the Metropolitan Police over the incident, was photographed with a secret document on his way to Downing Street.

Local campaigning group, Justice for the North West 10 has welcome the release of the two men and has urged the Home Office to immediately release the seven students still in prison.

National co-ordinator of the j4nw10 campaign, Tariq Mehmood said: "The government now admits they are innocent and they are not ‘a threat to national security’.

"Why then are Janus and Sultan being humiliated by being tagged like animals? This is a clear breach of their human rights and an attempt to save face by the authorities, since it is now obvious to the public that there was no ‘terror plot’."

He said: "The deportation orders were to hide government and police embarrassment at the lack of evidence against the students and control orders will perform the same function. This government acts as though it is above the law and refuses to admit it has ruined innocent lives in this appalling affair.

"It's now clear that Gordon Brown has misled the nation. There was never any terror plot. He should publicly apologise and resign."

The group also want the government to apologise to all the students and their families and to compensate all the students for the time and money they have lost as a result of the disruption of their studies and for the 13 weeks they were held Category A prisoners.

Added Mr Rehman: "We will continue to campaign for these demands and for the immediate, unconditional release of all the students."