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Huddersfield: Growing anger at racism
A MOOD of anger and disbelief gripped Huddersfield's Asian community following the acquittal of Mohammed Asghar's killer at Bradford Crown Court three weeks ago.
Mohammed was knifed to death outside his restaurant following weeks of racist abuse. His killer, Jonathan Fairbank, had actually returned with a six-inch knife following another night of racist taunts and plunged it into Mohammed's chest killing him almost instantly.
Incredibly, the jury was directed to regard this as self-defence by the overtly racist judge in the case.
His biased summing-up amazed even Fairbank's own solicitor who was convinced his client was going to jail.
The jury was selected from the Bradford area, but there wasn't a single representative of the black or Asian community. Instead an all-white jury allowed Fairbank to walk free.
Two weeks later, another reactionary judge ruled that the trial of Leeds footballers Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate couldn't continue in Hull because there was no evidence that this was a racist attack! Little wonder Britain's justice system retains little credibility with such double standards.
This latest miscarriage of justice is being challenged.
There have already been three demonstrations against the court's decision, two in Huddersfield and one outside the Crown Court in Bradford. Each time 100-200 people have come together to vent their anger.
The Crown Court protest was significant because of the big involvement of Asian women who at one point tried to rush the court building, but also because of the massive police presence.
Horses, dogs, and at one stage a police helicopter were engaged to police a peaceful demo of about 150 people.
The family, advised by lawyer Imran Khan, will push for a judicial inquiry. Petitions are already circulating and getting a marvellous response. All sections of the community, Black, White and Asian are united in their reaction to this outrage.
A public meeting is planned for 21 April where it is hoped to launch a national campaign and to stage another demonstration, this time on 5 May. There has been a very encouraging response to Socialist Alliance and Socialist Party involvement in the campaign, which will help to cement unity in the struggle to secure justice for Mohammed Asghar.
In The Socialist 20 April 2001: