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Friday 21 September 2018
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Muslim group demands release of detainees

RYAN HAMILTON-DAVIS

FAMILIES of the men held by police in connection to a threat to disrupt Carnival say they are considering filing writs of habeas corpus to justify their detentions.

And while the families of the eight men consult with their lawyers, at least one Muslim organisation has spoken out against the police’s response to the alleged threat.

Shamoon Mohammed, father of Tariq Mohammed, who was one of the eight men held by police, told Newsday their lawyers were preparing the writs on behalf of the detainees.

Mohammed said his son volunteered to go to the police but they have held him for too long.

“My son has nothing to do with any threat or attempt to disrupt Carnival.”

Mohammed since Wednesday, no one has been able to see Tariq.

He is being kept at the Belmont Police Station. His father said they have, however, been able to deliver to him clean clothing and towels. Yesterday was the fourth day Tariq has been in police’s custody.

The elder Mohammed said when police came to their home at about 3 am on Thursday morning, he first thought it was garbage men.

He realised they were not when he saw heavily armed police men who were accompanied by sniffer dogs.

Mohammed claimed the police assaulted his other son Wasim during their search.

He said nothing illegal was found and Tariq was asked to accompany the police, and he complied.

Apart from Mohammed’s home at El Socorro Road, San Juan, police also conducted searches at two masjids in San Juan and Sangre Grande.

In all, eight men were were detained and are still being questioned by police.

In a Facebook video post, Imam Sheraz of Nur-e-Islam Masjid, in El Socorro, said police came to the mosque, early Thursday morning. He said they cooperated with the authorities.

“They treated with us very professionally. They cooperated with us and we cooperated with them.

“People claimed that dogs went upstairs, that is not true. They claimed guns and ammunition were found in the masjid, that is also not true. They also claimed that police came to my house looking to arrest me, that is not true. In fact no one was arrested in the masjid. They didn’t question or speak to anyone during the search.”

In a separate media statement, one Muslim group called on police to explain the raids and arrests, while another demanded that the detainees be released.

“We note that the necessary respect was shown to places of worship during the operation.

However the process of breaking down and shooting down the doors of innocent persons and injuring them cannot be condoned.” said the Muslim Round Table.

“These individuals are all innocent, law abiding citizens with strong spiritual upbringing,” said Umar Abdullah of the Islamic Front said in a separate statement.

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