7 News Belize

The Raid and Rage Of A Muslim Family
posted (January 11, 2018)
And the Ahmad family is still hurting from that June 2016 raid by the Special Branch, which was under the command of Senior Superintendent Marco Vidal. In that operation, the Special Branch rounded up 20 of the Ahmad Family members, searched 6 of their homes, and confiscated all their electronics devices.

The Ahmad family and the Muslim community leaders underscored the abiding anger and distrust that this event caused them to feel toward police. Here's what both sides had to say:

Nuri Muhammad, Spokesperson - Local Muslim Community
"One of the concerns that the family left with today and it was still not completely resolved, is going back to their detention. If you remember, the entire Ahmad Family was rudely picked up and detained for over 15 hours, all their personal electronic equipment taken, their homes searched and no explanation (up to today) was given to the family. The family spokesperson said today they are still waiting for the Commissioner of Police to say 'why did you raid our house? Why did you take up 20 members of our family including pregnant women, grandmothers, grandfathers, why did you do that?'. Today all we got from the commissioner is that he is satisfied with what happened. He acknowledged in happened but he could not, even today, explain to the family why that happened."

Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Minister of Home Affairs
"When they picked them up, they ought to have explained to them why they were being detained, they ought to have allowed them access to phone calls so that they could call their attorneys and let them know what was happening so that the attorneys could have come to their assistance. To the extent that it was denied to them, to my mind, that was wrong. There is no two ways about it, you can't have any excuse to hold people for 12 hours no explaining to them why you're detaining them and not giving them an opportunity to contact their legal advisors, that was wrong. I went on to assure them that I will find out what transpired on that occasion. I will put it in writing to them what my understanding of it was, why they were held. I will send a copy to whoever they tell me to do, I will copy it to brother Nuri so that he can know as well. Let me tell you there is nothing that goes on in the police force that should be a secret. When it comes to dealing with people's human rights, you can't have any secrets."

Interestingly, Senior Superintendent Vidal was listed as one of the participants in the session, but from what we saw, he wasn't there.

Home | Archives | Downloads/Podcasts | Advertise | Contact Us

7 News Belize