Councillor held by Special Branch at Heathrow Airport

Tower Hamlets councilor Oliur Rahman was detained at Heathrow airport today (Wednesday) under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. He has expressed outrage over the incident.

Cllr Rahman was held for more than 30 minutes and quizzed by Special Branch about why he had attended the sixth Cairo international anti-war conference in Egypt. Cllr Rahman told the Advertiser from Heathrow: “A man standing behind the desk at immigration control asked to see my passport and said he was a police officer. He asked why I’d been in Cairo, how long I’d been there, what contacts I’d made and where I lived. I asked what was the purpose of these questions and he said he was from Special Branch and had the right to ask under the Terrorism Act.”

“I’m really shaken about it,” he continued. “They didn’t stop anyone else from that flight and I’m sure it was because of the colour of my skin and because I’m a Muslim.” He is writing a letter of complaint to the Met Police.

East London Advertiser, 2 April 2008