Thursday, 30 June 2011

King George Hospital Review Panel presentation:

Wilson at Ilford Town Hall before entering the Panel meeting

Yesterday at 13:05 I was invited to present a case to the Independent Review Panel for King George Hospital.  My presentation talked of the history of hospital services in the Redbridge area know for its focus on it's community:

  •  Ilford Hospital Chapel founded 1145 by the Abbess of barking A hospice for 13 aged and infirm men By 1219 lepers were being admitted.  Statutes dated 1349 made by the Bishop of London granted provision for 13 leprous brothers.
  • Ilford Isolation hospital later Chadwell Heath Hospital; opened 1829 had 100 beds providing treatment for infectious disease.  In 1945 annexe was added increasing provision of beds by 51.  There were156 beds by 1983.
  • In 1912 Ilford Emergency Hospital was built. In 1918 a maternity ward and war memorial garden was built with funds collected form local people. In 1936 by Royal Charter the hospital was registered as King Gorge V Hospital.   This was at the former King George Hospital site at Eastern Avenue.
I talked about the current provision at the new King George Hospital:

  • Opened in 1995
  • Currently has 454 beds Maternity facility, Critical care, an accident and emergency department a 24-hour Urgent Care Centre and a specialist rehabilitation services
  • Serving diverse population of close to 750,000 people
I talked of the changing demographics in Redbridge:

         1800 – 10,000 people approx
         In 1930’s around 160,000 people
         2001 – 238,600 people in Redbridge current 254,400 est.
         9th most diverse borough in the country.
         41.4% BME mid-2006 est
         7th Largest population in Greater London
         Birth rate risen by 6.6% compared to only 3.2% for Outer London.

“The ONS projections for 2011 reveal that the population in the Southern half of the borough will outgrow the north”

I then talked about the deprivation that exists in the south of the borough
  •          Redbridge rank has declined to 143rd of 354 UK Districts with regard to deprivation
             3 LSOA’s in top 10% of deprivation levels
             Clementswood, Loxford and Valentines have a relatively high concentration of deprivation in the Borough. Most of the LSOAs in these wards are within the 40% most deprived LSOA nationally.
             Most of the Deprived wards in Redbridge are located in the south of the Borough

    An LSOA by the way, is a Local Super Output Area which in laymans terms describes an area with a population of 1500 people.
I then described the potential consequences of removal of A&E and Maternity using the above data for reference:

         Ethnic Minorities and elderly more susceptible to Heart disease, diabetes.
         Population rise has increased burden on hospitals.  A&E at Queens sent patients to King George during Christmas period.
         Illness linked to deprivation

I expanded on the potential consequence of a large younger population and increased local Nightlife - my intent was to show a need for local A&E to deal with alcohol abuse and associated risks such as violence (stabbings with bottles in drunken brawls and domestic sitautions):

Comment taken from NHS Glasgow and Clyde:

“The main reasons for the worsening trend in alcohol problems are a mixture of increased
affordability and social acceptability of drinking to excess.  The alcohol problem is therefore – like
obesity - partly a result of greater affluence and choice.  At the same time, people in more deprived
circumstances suffer the worst damage from alcohol for reasons that are not fully understood,
but it is not just that they consume more alcohol.”

I described a news story I saw on the BBC news yesterady morning describing an increase in diabetes and the high risk associated through other complications of the ilness.  The report described lack of information with young people causing major health concerns later in life, when early intervention could reduce impact.   I explained that elderly and BME groups are more susceptible to the disease and we have both in abundance in Redbridge.  The debilitating nature of Diabetes necessitates a local A&E Facility.

“The number of people admitted into hospital due to obesity soared by 60 per cent in the last year. The figure is evenmore startling when considered in the context of the last decade, during which time it has increased by nine times. The impact of the obesity epidemic is even more serious due to the increased likelihood of overweight people developing type 2 diabetes and in the longer-term diabetes complications.”

Taken from Feb

I then provided evidence on the link between povery and illness and explained that although parts of the borough are very affluent, it is the chronic poverty in particular areas that highlights the need for local A&E.

The likelihood of limiting longstanding illness or disability increases as income decreases.  For example, two-fifths of all adults aged 45-64 on below-average incomes have a limiting longstanding illness or disability, one-and-a-half times the rate for those on average incomes and three times the rate for those on high incomes.  Note that the causation between limiting longstanding illness or disability and income may well run in both directions.
  • Adults aged 45-64 in routine and manual occupational groups are much more likely to have a limiting long-standing illness or disability than those from non-manual groups.
Taken from the poverty site.

I ended by describing some further concerns:

         Up to 3 buses required for journeys.
         Lack of Redbridge Identity
         Births on route to hospital
         A study of mortality rates (Emergency Medicine Journal) correlated against journey times to emergency services for fatal injuries concluded:

"Increased journey distance to hospital appears to be associated with increased risk of mortality. Our data suggest that a 10-km increase in straight-line distance is associated with around a 1% absolute increase in mortality“

Isla Martin commented in Yellow Advertiser:

“When A&E facilities are local more people are likely to use their own vehicles to attend the hospital. Longer distances could result in more burden on London Ambulances, will this not reduce their effectiveness, ability to respond and reciprocally reduce the survival rates of sufferers"

I ended by presenting our 4000 signature petition amassed at our 29th July protest, which the panel acknowledged as part of the review.  They however, returned it stating if they retained the petition it could not be used elsewhere and would serve greater purpose if it was to be submitted to the Health for North London Panel.

I remind you of our protest below:

Update on Cobham Road shooting! Ilford Residents alarmed...

I have been informed by the Police that the shooting incident in Ilford yesterday occured on Cobham Road (Mayfield Ward) and not Green Lane, as originally assumed.  The information provided to me detailed how the Police had stopped a vehicle for search, during this process a man with a gun shot above the Police into the air.  The vehicle then drove away in an attempt to make a getaway. The police have caught the suspect after the area mentioned in my previous post was cordoned and blockaded.   The incident occured at around 12:00 yesterday any witnesses should call Ilford Police Station on 020 8478 3020.

Please do join our next Redbridge Against Violent Crime Meeting at 19:00 on Thursday 21st July at Seven Kings United Free Church.

The police have not yet revealed why the stop was made or how many people were involved in the incident.

Yesterdays story:

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Stab attack on Gordon Road and a purported gun attack on Cobham Road.

On Saturday 25th June 2011 at 10:45pm my wife disturbed me from my slumber after hearing a man screaming on the streets.  I rushed to get my clothes on and called the Police and Ambulance service to the incident.   I  watched as a white gentleman poured cider on his black colleagues hand.  It would seem the black victim got caught in a stabbing incident and was in extreme pain.  The two men seemed rather inebriated and when I informed them that I had called the Police and an Ambulance the white individual showed me a scar on his chest and then proceeded to lower his tracksuit bottoms to show me a scar on his left buttock.  He commented;

"Look at the two scars on my body, sometimes you get stabbed but you don't want the Police to know about it. Wounds heal quicker than you realise"

With that he thanked me for my concern for his friend and walked away from the front of my neighbours property.  As he walked away I informed the 999 service who told me they would terminate the ambulance request but would advise the local police about the incident.

The situation did not sit well with me and after about a 20 minute prevarication I decided to follow the two men and let thee Police know where they were.  Concern for the health of the victim was a priority, but I also felt it was important that the incident was properly logged and that any perpetrators of crime were listed with the police.

I found the two men later along Albert Road and called the police I was flabbergasted when I was informed the 999 service had not logged the issue with the Police.  Police response was extremely quick less then 5 minutes. When I saw a Police car patrolling I flashed my lights behind them to stop them, so that I could give a full description of the men and a report.

After completing the report we set off to drive away the Police undertook a U turn and advised me they had found the two men.  The police throughout acted both responsibly and professionally dealing with my concern seriously, despite the mobility of the victim and his friend, or the exhibited reluctance to wait for the Police.

On Wednesday 29th June 2011  a Gun attack took place on Cobham.  Rumour has it down to an attempted shot at a Police Officer.  Road closures in the area covered Green Lane and associated exit roads between South Park Drive and the Ashgrove Pub.  Residents and businesses on Green Lane and the Associated roads have been traumatised by the incident. Police response was rapid and vehicle have been patrolling in the area a number of covert vehicles have been involved in the process (blue lights suddenly started flashing).  I will keep residents updated on any developments.

The Next Redbridge Against Violent Crime Meeting is to be held on the 21st July from 19:00 - 21:00. Our venue is to bet Seven Kings United Free Church is situated on the corner of Meads Lane and Norfolk Road.  Further details will be provided nearer the time.

Monday, 27 June 2011

London Murder Squad Detective confirms that comparatively Redbridge has low knife crime

Local people determined to tackle knife crime!

Cynthia Laniyan, DCI Stephen Claymore, Wilson Chowdhry and Danny O'Brien

Questions came in thick and fast.

At Goodmayes Baptist Church on the 23rd June 2011, local community groups and activists met with Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Claymore from the Homicide and Serious Crime Unit for East London, to discuss violent crime in Redbridge.

The meeting was organised by Wilson Chowdhry, Danny O'Brien from Anti-knives UK and  Cynthia Laniyan the mother of  a recent victim who survived a torrid attack resulting in a punctured lung.  Her son was stabbed 15 times after revellers at a party on Breamore Road, engaged in a stabbing frenzy that saw 5 victims in total.  The Ilford Recorder reported on the incident:

Our main aim was to discuss the presence of knife crime in our borough and to encourage the creation of a borough-wide group focused on eradicating such crime from our community.

In his presentation DCI Claymore from the East London Murder Squad talked about the national set up which includes 24 Teams.  In particular he spoke of his own team which consists of 30 members a mixture of detectives and Police Officers who work form a base in Barking.

Stephen reflected on high profile cases such as the murder of Sukhwinder Singh and Aleeza Murza that have  a Redbridge connection.

In brief I summarise the main points of Stephens presentation:

  • 90% of murders are solved in London
  • 20- 30 years of forensic advancement have made our police force the envy of the world
  • In Philadelphia a city similar to London in population and size the knife crime toll is over 4 times larger.
  • although gang related crime in the UK has grown in recent years there are only emerging gangs in Redbridge.  Most gang attacks in the borough are imported from other boroughs.
  • Youth Homicide is only 10-12% of of the national homicide rate.
  • The minimum sentence for murder is now 25 years (30 years for gun related murder) and inmates are required to complete a full term with no option for parole for good behaviour.
  • Over the last 10 years the National homicide rate has been dropping.
  • 1 in 4 homicides are related to domestic violence and police response to domestic violence has become more vigorous.
Stephen went on to talk around the subject of "Joint Enterprise" a common law precedent that has for centuries contributed to perpetrators of the crime remote from the actual murder act, but involved in the killing process by encouraging, aiding or abetting.  For instance if a group of youths are involved in a purposeful altercation involving hitting a victim with fists, one pulls out a knife and kills the victim, all of the boys could receive a murder charge.  Learn more on BBC article:

The Met police has been driving home this potential threat to freedom by visiting local schools and spelling out the potential consequences of being loosely involved in a youth violent crime incident.  Stephen described the shock and realisation that this knowledge was met with by young people.

A call for better community intelligence sharing dominated much of the evening.  People were afraid of repercussions from "snitching" and Stephen explained that most criminals are only concerned about themselves and very rarely is an organised crime syndicate involved in murders.  Others perceived the process of witnessing a very difficult and torrid affair with little protection or care for those giving testimony.

At this point I explained how when I was in primary school I witnessed the perpetrator of a fatal robbery running through my father's rear garden, in an attempt to escape pursuit.  I called the Police and had to then stand as a witness in court.  My father had sleepless nights and whilst waiting for the court hearing we sat in a communal witness area during which the criminal sat before us and glared menacingly.

Thankfully Stephen described positive changes in the witness process that includes separate waiting areas, screening within court from felons views, voice distortion equipment, video witnessing and a whole host of protective mechanism.  Stephen did clarify however that the decision on witnessing technique would be subject to Judges whim, however he explained that Old Bailey (Central Criminal Court) judges are experienced, competent and expert in cases of this nature.  Mistakes do however occur and I brought to his attention the case of Milly Dowler that has received much recent attention.  Stephen agreed that all systems need to be constantly reviewed and updated for continuous improvement and reiterated that witness protection is much better now than ever before including provision of a family liaison officer for serious cases that provided support, advice and clarity to the process ensuring family needs and desires are better understood.  Protected anonymity also prevents media publishing of witness details and can be pursued via judicial discretion. Learn more about the Milly Dowler case here:

A question was raised regarding the empathy of judges and Stephen explained that judges hear these cases regularly as such the pain and suffering of a family becomes evident.

A call was made for better parental awareness of what their children are doing.  Many parents use TV and Computer games as nannies for the children, and do not share the one to one relationship that children crave and require for wholesome development.

Various parents described the stricter upbringing they had when growing up and the positive affects of communal meals that stimulate conversation and togetherness.  TV dinners and the media have swallowed much of what was good in previous families said one visitor.

Gangs members do not always carry knives on their person and may have many stashed at locations in their surrounding areas, to avoid detection.  Local residents who find dumped knives should call the police and council and arrange for a safe collection.

I questioned Stephen for an update regarding Sukhwinder Singh on behalf of lead voice on this matter Upkar Rai who had to make a late cancellation to our meeting.  Stephen described the challenges in this case including the fact that the perpetrator was a stranger, it is easier of course to trace victims where the assailant is a partner or works or studies at a similar establishment.

The Police published a £20,000 reward for evidence leading to the capture of the murderer. However the community is not yet talking and there is the hope that with time someone will come forward.  Some suspects were arrested and released on bail due to a lack of evidence. Eye witness accounts are critical in murder cases.

The good news received was that gang culture in Redbridge was minimal and lacked the territorial aspect of postcodes or other identities exhibited in other London Boroughs.

Young people dominated the latter stages of the questioning.  Questions surrounding the propensity of stop and search undertakings on black and Asian males ensued. In one description reference to regular activity from a perceived "Bully Vans" darkened the image of local policing. Stephen graciously admitted their were problems in the system and that the Met Police was constantly reviewing their processes with a view to make improvement.  One youth described how he was stopped with friends, however, the Police Officer became less aggressive on noticing his mother present in the car.  Stephen also explained that ASBO Officer and the Local Police can set up stop and search sections with enhanced powers in areas of concern using and empowerment termed section 60 that needs to be authorised by the Borough Commander.

The young men also described how some young black men carried knives due to having being attacked before creating a desire for protection, others carried knives to avoid bullying.  Stephen explained that even brandishing a knife in a threatening fashion can lad to a 6 months sentence.  It would be better for young people to communicate their fears to the Police.  It was for this very reason that a system of Police Met Police Liaison Officers has been introduced.  Stephen warned parents of e-bullying and suggested parental control and knowledge of usage should b intertwined with permission.  He still knew the password for his children and monitored their social network activity sometimes in real-time.

An old black lady from the audience explained how she suffered racist abuse from Teddy boys and then punks.  That stop and search policies where significantly more racially motivated.  She gave her support to Police stop and searches believing if it rooted out one criminal in 100 it would be worth it.  She explained to the young men that they have a much easier time with the Police than in her days and that they should do more to improve the service further, even if that meant snitching.

Danny O'Brien from Anti-knife UK, described his facebook page, that provided daily updates on national knife crime reports.  He explained after a question was posed that knife crime victims and assailants traversed the diversity spectrum.  That in Scotland the majority of incidents involved white people and that in other areas such as London black on black or Asian on Asian incidents occurred, he dispelled that myth on the meting that the majority of violent crime was a black community social malaise, explaining it was simply a question of demographics.

His research through visits to school elucidated that many young people were disconnected from the family and valued the companionship of friends over more familial relationships.  He also described how on the internet or gang culture young people would be groomed into friendship until they became dependent, at which point a more aggressive coercing into completing an initiation towards full formal acceptance by a group, would ensue.

A young man commented by stating that peer pressure was a key factor in the carrying of a knife and backed the dissociation from family being a root cause for a life of crime.    Danny called for stronger value building at family level and for parents to be more aware of the needs and desires of their children.  He said their was a definite need for stronger relationship if we are to subvert magnetism to unsavoury groups.

At the end of the meeting a large number of youth including the young man who survived 15 stab wounds questioned the delay in Police arrival and then deliberate wait for an incident to arise.  Telephone calls were made around 22:00 regarding trouble brewing outside the party on Breamore Road.  An armed Police car was seen parked at 23:00 at the top of the road.  However, armed Police only responded after the stabbing incident had occurred regarding the observed ineffective deployment.    Stephen stated that only the local police could answer the question, adding that it may have been due to reticence to send armed officer directly into the party without first engaging with the party-goers using a less fierce looking normal police officer service.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Long term peace campaigner Brian Haw (RIP) loses fight against cancer.

Humanitarians of different faiths enjoyed a meal and gentle discussion on global persecution.


Brian was a warm, welcoming man his passion for peace was evident in the words he spoke and his actions.

The BPCA banner was displayed and held by people of different faiths.

Brian talked of his Christian faith openly and honestly.

Brian Haw is the stoic and determined character who selflessly gave his time and resource to challenge the decision by Britain to enter and remain, in the illegal and immoral Iraq and Afghanistan war on terror.  He passed away after a long battle against a debilitating  lung cancer and will now never see an end to the war  which he spoke out most vehemently against.

To vent his frustrations against the sanctions imposed on Iraq and the brutal affects of the war that had  created defects on a whole generation of Iraq's young children -caused by the use of depleted Uranium munitions - Brian left his family behind and took up permanent residence on the green outside the houses of parliament - taking shelter in a tent.

He was brought into the international spotlight on many occasions whilst being taken to the court, the Mayor of London and Parliamentarians, all of whom sought his removal from Westminster Green.  Brian was successful in most court proceedings, however in March this year Boris Johnson secured an order that required his removal from the green onto the hard pavement area.  Despite this extra inconvenience he continued to protest and his legend continue to grow.

I met with Brian during a peace picnic organised by the enigmatic Julius Salik a former Federal Minister form Pakistan.  During my short time with Brian I discovered his thirst for justice and peace and he revealed to me his strong evangelical Christian beliefs. Whilst talking of his faith however, he described the need for people of all faiths to work collaboratively and in harmony to introduce a global peace.  The Picnic was attended by people from a number of faiths.

Brian led the prayer for grace before our meal, using the opportunity to give God glory whilst calling for a more resolute campaign to see an end to war and tyranny.  He will be remembered as a great ambassador for peace and is a loss to the global humanitarian cause. His absence from Parliament square will no doubt be noticeable.

His campaign inspired me and seeing and reading about his constant campaign galvanised my heart to do more for Pakistani Christians and other minorities.  Though I must admit, I would find it very difficult to make the huge sacrifice he made.  He leaves behind a wife and 7 children who will no doubt mourn the loss of a figure or great importance in their lives and more globally. 

Mark Wallinger won a coveted Turner Prize for recreating Brian Haw's Protest encampment within the Tate Britain Gallery, illustrating the wide impact of his mission.  Moreover, Al Jazeera reported today that John McDonnell MP now plans to put a resolution (an "Early Day Motion") before the Houses of Parliament calling for the erection of "a monument to Brian Haw that celebrates peace, rather than celebrating war - as do many of London's great monuments".

It would not be fitting to complete this post without some words from Brian Haw himself describing why he was so passionate about an end to the "War on Terror." Speaking after a court appearance, he set out his intention to remain in the square for the rest of his life:

"We're there because our country is committing infanticide, genocide, the looting of nations. I'm determined to be there until they kill me. How much longer will that be?"
He also once said the children of Iraq and other countries were;
 "every bit as valuable and worthy of love as my precious wife and children".
"I want to go back to my own kids and look them in the face again, knowing that I've done all I can to try and save the children of Iraq and other countries who are dying because of my government's unjust, amoral, fear - and money-driven policies," he said.
I met Brian with his wife at the barbecue and the love, care  and support exhibited for one another suggest to me that his love for suffering people was immense.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Redbridge Against Knife Crime! Community Meeting on 23rd June...

Redbridge Against Knife Crime Community Meeting

Gang violence is increasing in Redbridge numerous incidents of knife related crime have significantly reduced local perception of safety.

We have organised a free community meeting to discuss a way forward.  In attendance will be:

Goodmayes Met Police Safer Neighbourhood Team Sgt Jez Tyler
Parvin Mahmood – Mother of Kashif  -  a high profile victim of knife crime
Anne Oakes-Odger – Knife
Simon James – Redbridge ASBO Officer
Danny O'Brien - Anti-knives UK

Address:           Goodmayes Baptist Church, Kinfauns Road, IG3 9QL.
Date:                Thursday 23rd June 2011
Time:               19:00 – 2100

The fact that Redbridge now has recognised gangs operating within the borough is a disappointing local demise. One gang in particular called the Afghan Gang are robbing young people around Ilford Library. People feel increasingly less confident when they walk in our streets that once seemed so safe. 

Two young girls were recently robbed at knife point in Seven Kings park by six other girls and were forced to do press ups in an activity meant to cause embarrassment. 

On Friday 15th April from 11pm young people attending a party on Breamore road, Seven Kings, left the event on a stabbing spree. The ensuing violence led five people being stabbed on Green Lane, Lynford Gardens, Nutfield Gardens, and Sunnyside Road - two of the victims had punctured lungs. One boy in particular was subjected to 15 stab wounds.  . 

We are hoping to skill our local community in how to be more vigilant against knife crime. It is essential that we start to work with our local Police teams to provide them with the ability to effectively challenge criminals and reduce crime.  Do join our meeting and gain some tools to enhance local partnerships, safety and camaraderie. 

Kind regards

Wilson Chowdhry
East Ilford Business Partnership

For more details email or call 0208514 0861

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Flashes of rage!

Total destruction

Needless damage

Kindly left with a scrap of lead...

This year I have been subjected to a two thefts that have made me left me in a rage for being a persistent victim of crime.

In January a residential property I have for letting purposes was vacant, the new estates agents decided that to market the property they would apply the usual noticeboards, this resulted in lot's of adverse attention on a visibly vacant property.  As a consequence of this highlighted lack of tenants, one day on a daily visit I was shocked to discover that overnight the property had been forced open.  Moreover the boiler and all the copper piping had been stolen costing over £5000 to replace.

Only 3 weeks ago during daylight hours (around 13:00) two black youths climbed onto the roof of the training academy I own, to the rear of my main security business head office at 57 Green Lane.  They proceeded to rip away the lead flashing surrounding the edge of the flat roof (see images above), whilst onlookers watched in amazement, but did nothing to stop them.  One kind shopkeeper who came out of his shop to collect a package and noticed the crime taking place, displayed more concern.  He shouted and the miscreants and ran to our offices informing my staff of the situation.  Our Office Manager called the Police whilst i ran to the scene to investigate.

The youths had already taken off with the stolen lead by the time I arrived and must of had a nearby vehicle.  Despite a large number of people being near the crime scene few offered to act as witnesses when the police arrived. The police arrived promptly within 10 minutes and took details of the crime scene and witness accounts.  They also searched for the youths via police car mobile patrols of the area.  Unfortunately the youths were long gone....

I am concerned about the significant increase in theft especially theft involving metal objects, seen to be valuable due to the high price for lead, copper and brass contemporaneously.

If we are to curb such crimes we must be more vigilant as a community;

  •  If we see a crime in action it is important we act immediately by reporting it using the emergency 999 facility.  
  • Instead of using lead flashing ask your contractors to use lead substitutes such as zinc.
  • Contractors working on buildings in the borough should be asked to use lead substitutes at planning stage.
  • Legislation should be in place ensuring scrap-merchants are required to obtain photographic ID and proofs of address for people selling scrap. Fiscal penalties should be applied to scrap-merchants who fail to undertake mandatory vetting processes.
If the scrap industry continues to be unregulated the increasing metal theft that has resulted in drain covers being stolen at cost to local council's, Schools closed due to loss of lead flashing causing water damage and requiring immediate building repair (Chadwell Heath primary recently was forced to shut for two days) and the most pernicious theft of brass plaques from a graveyard in Hainault last year.

What do an Imam, A former Bishop, A Nazi Holocaust survivor, Hindu and Sikh Human Right group leaders have in common?

What do an Imam, A former Bishop, A Nazi Holocaust survivor, Hindu and Sikh Human Rught group leaders have in common? 

Before you all start assuming this is the the first line of an atheists joke on faith let me clarify...

For those of you who are still unaware on the 2nd July 2011 leaders and communities from a multitude of faiths will join together to call for reform of the Blasphemy Laws of Pakistan.  These laws have been abused by extremists and those with personal enmities to subject minority communities living in Pakistan to persecution and significant inequality. Further details can be viewed below:

MEP Jean Lambert and Former Bishop of Rochester Dr Michael Nazir Ali.

The BPCA is organising it's next annual protest march against the Blasphemy Laws of Pakistan that have created second class citizenship, for minorities living in Pakistan. Section 295b&c and 298a of the Pakistan Penal Code has frequently been used as a tool to oppress people of faith minorities and to enact retribution for personal vendettas on the vulnerable. Our protest will be held on the 2nd July 2011 and below we list the itinerary:

10:30: Set up to the fore of Pakistan Embassy, Lowndes Square, Knightsbridge (feel free to join us and to assist)

1 hour worship service

12:00: Submission of petition at Pakistan Embassy

12:00 - 12:30:
30 minutes of political speeches
12:30: Protest march starts and head towards 10 Downing Street
14:00: Arrive at 10 Downing Street - 10 minutes of political speeches
14:10: Submission of Petition at 10 Downing Street
14:15: Speakers form attendees
14:30: Prayer and close.

Guests include:

  • Opening prayer by Reverend Barry Cheeseman of Ilford High Road Baptist Church
  • Bishop Dr Michael Nazir Ali - Former Bishop of Rochester
  • Stuart Windsor - Christian Solidarity Worldwide
  • Dr James Shera MBE, PGCE -Former Mayor of Rugby
  • Alison Ruoff - Former Magistrate/member of the General Synod of the Church of England
  • MP Lee Scott -Conservative Party
  • Alan Craig - Christian Peoples Alliance
  • Canon Yacub Masih
  • Rev Stephen Green - Christian Voice
  • John Pontifex - Aid to the Church in Need
  • David Prasad- Castewatch
  • Imam Dr Hargey - Oxford Islamic Congregation
  • Dr Martin Stern (Nazi Holocaust Survivor and former Student at Peshawar University)
  • Pastor Hari Kaul - Wolverhampton Asian Christian Fellowship (Indian)
  • Reverend Amelia Jacob - St John's Alperton
  • Andrea Minichiello-Williams - Director of Christian Concern
  • Canon Toby Crowe - St John's Alperton
  • Upkar Rai - British Sikh Council
  • John Bosco - Christian Social Link
  • Jesbir Singh - Free Sarabjit Singh Campaign
  • Reverend Gill David - currently with St Paul's, Hounslow (soon Manchester)
  • Ranbir Singh - Hindu Human Rights Group
Speeches will be incorporated into the 30 minutes section before starting the march and the 30 minutes after the march.  Some speakers will be used during the 1 hour worship service.

Previous events have been a real success and MEP Jean Lambert has attended both events, Baroness Cox attended our first event, while former Bishop of Rochester Dr Michael Nazir Ali joined us on the last event.
We have previously enjoyed company with Women Against Fundamentalism, The Hindu Human Rights Group, Sikh Human Rights Group, British Sikh Council, United Sikhs, Bishop Michael Read, Canon Toby Crowe, Alan Craig Christian Peoples Alliance and many other senior figures.

This year the date is held on the 2nd of July to commemorate the martyrdom of Sajid and Wajid Maish the two pastors shot dead after being acquitted of a false blasphemy charge in Faisalabad. They were arrested on the 2nd July 2010.

Last years event was held on the 31st July to commemorate the tragic attack on Gojra in which 9 people were killed, 100 homes razed to the ground and two churches were destroyed. This incident occurred after a false blasphemy charge was placed on a community said to have used torn shreds of the Quran as confetti. The incident in Gojra took place on 1st August 2009 and the bride and groom and close family were killed.

This year we will also hold a 1 minute silence for Shahbaz Bhatti with a few tributes - to our former brother.

Please complete a comment if you will be coming to encourage others

Join a free debate on Pakistani state terror against Minority Groups at ULU tonight.

Pakistani state terror against the Baloch people
and  other minority groups

Public Meeting

Tuesday 14 June, 6.30pm-9pm

at Bloomsbury Suite, Second Floor, University of London Union (ULU), Malet Street, WC1
Chaired by Saleh Mamon, CAMPACC

Speakers include
Hyrbyair Marri, Baloch human rights activist and political leaderPeter Tatchell, human rights campaignerJames Nichols, LawyerDr Lahku Luhana, Secretary General of World Sindhi CongressWilson Chowdhry Chairman Pakistani Christian Association; Amnesty International (to be confirmed)

The meeting is called by International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons & Campaign Against 
Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC)

Supported by World Sindhi Congress, Balochistan National Movement (Baloch Raaji Zrombesh), Kurdish Federation UK, British Tamil Forum, Liberation, International Committee Against 
Disappearances (ICAD)

In the last seven months the military intelligence agencies have killed and dumped the bodies of at least 150 Baloch political and human rights activists. The victims were carefully selected from the most progressive and conscientious sections of Baloch society. Those that have been subjected to such violent end have included students, poets, lawyers, journalists, farmers, workers and others.   Most of the victims were members or sympathisers of Baloch political parties. Among the victims there have been many Baloch children and senior citizens.

In addition to the Baloch there have also been persistent and brutal human rights violations against the Sindhi peoples and other minority and religious groups including the Christians and Amadiya Muslims. Our mainstream media and politicians are exclusively focused on ‘war on terror’ against Al Qaeda and the Taliban and have maintained silence on the violations of human and political rights of all these minority communities in Pakistan.  The aim of this meeting is to break this complicity and culture of silence.
Ammesty International writes

 “We have has long been concerned about the persistent pattern human rights violations occurring in Pakistan.  “Arbitrary detention, torture, deaths in custody, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial execution are rampant.  The government of Pakistan has failed to protect individuals – particularly women, religious minorities and children – from violence and other human rights abuses committed in the home, in the community, and while in legal custody.  It has failed to ensure legal redress after violations have occurred. In addition, Pakistan continues to impose the death penalty on persons convicted of crimes.

Since 9-11, individuals suspected of having links with “terrorist” organizations have been arbitrarily detained, denied access to lawyers, and turned over to U.S. custody or to the custody of their home country in violation of local and international law.”

For information contact

Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC)  Tel 020 7586 5892 or 

International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons  Tel 07540591477