Muslim student arrested for doing university project

A 20 year old Muslim student was arrested under Britain’s terrorism law for taking photographs in east London for his university project before being released without charge. Kamran Tariq said he was detained last week while wandering amongst other tourists, hoping to gain inspiration to complete an assignment for his architecture course.

“I was singled out for being a young Pakistani Muslim and I was humiliated,” said Tariq, who is in his final year at the capital’s Greenwich University. He said he was arrested by a troop of nine officers, bungled into a police car, strip-searched and questioned for hours on suspicion of terrorism. He said he was also fingerprinted and required to provide a DNA sample.

“I cannot put into words what I felt. I was confused, angry, upset and astounded that this was happening to me. I’ve never so much as had a parking ticket, let alone had any other dealings with criminal activity or the police,” the student said. “I was made to feel small and treated like a criminal – all for a piece of university coursework,” he said in a statement obtained by IRNA. Tariq believes he was victimised because he was a Muslim. “Other students have been taking photographs of the area and they have not had any problems,” he said.

The local police confirmed that he was arrested on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack and was released without charge the same day without further action to be taken. “This was an isolated incident and our officers took the action they deemed to be appropriate,” a police spokesman was quoted saying by PA News.

IRNA, 18 October 2006