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Turkish Man Beaten and Racially Abused by PSNI in front of Witnesses


Anti-Racism Network (ARN) • 5 December 2004

Musa Gulusen, a 36 year old Turkish man from East Belfast, has contacted the Anti Racism Network and reported that he was assaulted and racially abused by a number of PSNI Officers in Belfast City Centre in front of witnesses last Saturday (27th November 2004).

Musa Gulusen is a well known face to anyone who shops regularly on Royal Avenue in Belfast. He has been a stallholder there for seven years. Originally from Turkey, Musa settled here 12 years ago and has a family here. Last Saturday there was a PSNI operation against unlicensed stallholders in Belfast City centre. Musa says that during this operation he was severely assaulted and racially abused by the PSNI officers taking part in the operation.

Musa says "a police officer grabbed me by the throat and he shoved me up against a wall. I was protesting and asking him why are you holding me. I was trying to tell him that I had made my application for a license to Belfast City Council. I told him the name of the person in the Council who is dealing with it. He wasn't listening. He hit me in the face with the back part of his hand.

Then other officers came over. They forced me to the ground. They grabbed my arms up behind my back. I was yelling and yelling how sore my arm was but they were not listening. They kept pulling and my arm was in real pain. There was blood on the ground. They then half dragged me across the ground to the Land Rover and put me inside. In the Land Rover the policeman who had hit me in the face asked me my name. I said that I was in pain that I would not tell him my name as he had hit me. Other police got into the Land Rover. One of them appeared to be senior - like an inspector. He looked me straight in the face and said "Hey Kebab boy". All the other police in the Land Rover started laughing really hard. They just kept laughing. There were four of them. I was thinking I am 36 years old. I have lived here for twelve years, I have a British passport and they see me as if I was an animal. It was the same as if he had said to me "Hey monkey boy".

I have never done anything to deserve that. I have lived here a long time. It doesn't matter where you come from. I have never done anything bad. They were all laughing at me as if I wasn't human".

Musa was eventually hospitalised where it was discovered that his arm had been broken. He also had severe bruising to his back and facial injuries.

The ARN has also spoken to one of the witnesses, another stallholder, Gerard Stitt. Gerard told the ARN "Musa was actually walking away when the police grabbed him with their batons drawn..... When they were dragging him to the landrover he was screaming to them "my arm, my arm". I heard one of them saying to him "you're not such a big fella now are you"? I have seen plenty of raids on stalls in my 5 years doing them but I have never seen anything like this. They usually just take the stuff and take your name. This was beyond excessive force. This was disgraceful".

A week after the event, Musa Gulusen's face is swollen. His left eye is still severely bruised and swollen and his broken arm is in a sling. He told the Anti Racism Network that he was upset and angry by what had happened and that so were friends of his and "local people" who had witnessed the assault.

The ARN is calling for a full investigation into the actions of PSNI officers who were involved in the operation. Barbara Muldoon of the Network says "Of all the racist attacks reported in Northern Ireland over the last number of years this is without doubt the most serious. We were told of this assault the very day after John Spellar was commending the PSNI for a reduction in the figures for racist attacks in the last six months. The ARN have been concerned for some time that the PSNI figures do not truly represent the real level of attacks". Ms Muldoon, who works for P Drinan Solicitor's Office, an office where at least 30% of the clients that they
see are from the minority ethnic community, says that most people who are attacked do not report it. "There is a lack of confidence in the PSNI due to the very small 'clear up' rate for racist crimes".

Calling for a full investigation into the matter she added - "The bitterness of what happened Rodney King in America or Stephen Lawrence in London will never go away. Not just because of what happened - but also because of the very lengthy battles to have what happened properly investigated. A member of our community has been subjected to a serious assault and appalling racist abuse by the very force who society tasks to solve racist attacks. There are witnesses to confirm what happened. The assault took place in an area where there are numerous CCTV cameras. This news will undoutedly make international headlines. What is required here is a full independent inquiry into the actions of the PSNI in Belfast City Centre last Saturday".




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
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Index: Current Articles

6 December 2004

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Padraic Paisley
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Revolutionary Unionism
Dr John Coulter

Official Secrets
Mick Hall

Kilmichael Controversay Continues
Liam O Ruairc

Turkish Man Beaten and Racially Abused by PSNI in front of Witnesses

Iraq is Not the Second World War
Fred A Wilcox

Dancing at the Edge of the Abyss
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2 December 2004

Questions - and Doubts - Remain
Tommy Gorman

Another Crisis for Trimble?
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No Gangster More Cruel
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Love Your Enemy More Than Your Friend
Elana Golden

Mick Hall

The Biggest Mistake They Could Have Made
Áine Fox

Danilo Anderson and Condoleeza Rice
Toni Solo



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