Pakistani student recounts horror of being under anti-terror arrest in UK

April 10th, 2009 - 7:07 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Apr. 10 (ANI): A Pakistani student, who was mistaken for an al-Qaeda suspect and taken into a custody briefly on Thursday in northern England, has recounted the horror of being arrested.

Peshawar-based Muhammad Adi, 27, is in his final year of an MBA at Liverpool’s John Moores University.

Adil told The Guardian that he spent most of Thursday in the library working on a dissertation that he has to submit by April 30.

He agreed to meet a friend because he owed him 100 pounds. They were sitting on benches outside the building eating peanuts and talking when the anti-terror officers arrived.

“Special forces with telescopes on their machine guns came and said ‘hands up’. I thought maybe they are students playing with me. My friend was sitting on the bench. They grabbed my wrists and pushed my friend and he fell down on the other side of the wall,” Adil said.

He told the officers that he was a student and was told to “shut up”. The police made him lie down, and tied his hands behind his back.

“I kept saying ‘I’m normal’. I couldn’t see my friend but the officers were on him. They said ‘don’t move’. They asked me if I knew why I was being arrested - as a suspect of terrorism, I was laughing in shock at that point and the officer told me it’s not the time to laugh,” he said.

Adil said he was kept lying face down on the floor with his hands tied behind his back for an hour with the officers pointing guns at him. After about an hour of being held on the floor, the police took the two men to a police station in separate cars.

Several hours later, Adil said the officers’ attitude towards him changed. Adil believes this is because they had confirmed he was a legitimate student.

Adil, whose friend he believes is still being held by the police, feels insulted as a Muslim student in the UK, and hopes to return to his home country as soon as possible.

“They are clearly identifying Muslim students. It’s a big insult. The first thing I will do is leaving this country as soon as possible. The police officer said your country is not secure but I still prefer to live there. I love my country.” (ANI)

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