۲۸ شهریور ۱۳۹۸ |١٩ محرم ١٤٤١ | Sep 19, 2019
‘Increasing number of Muslim women forced to remove headscarves’ at UK border control

The analysis of the use of Schedule 7 powers and its impact on the Muslim community was released by CAGE this week.

Hawzah News Agency - A new report on Schedule 7 shows how Muslims are being ‘systematically targeted’ at UK borders.

The analysis of the use of Schedule 7 powers and its impact on the Muslim community was released by CAGE this week.

Schedule 7 stops follow 3 stages: screenings, examinations and detentions and can last anything up to 20 minutes and usually take place on or around the passport control desk.

CAGE said the report was a product of three years of work and the research suggests the stops at ports disproportionately target Muslim travellers.

Schedule 7 has been in effect for nearly two decades.

Schedule 7 powers include the following: You can be held without charge or suspicion or evidence for up to 6 hours; You do not have the right to remain silent; You can be searched and your possessions seized; Your electronic devices can be confiscated and held for seven days, and you may be coerced to disclose your password; All your data can be collected and retained; You are obliged to surrender your DNA and fingerprints and You can be strip searched.

CAGE has made an official compliant to the policing regulator, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, on behalf of 10 people. The group also wrote to MPs on the all-party group on British Muslims.

The report goes on to say how an Increasing number of Muslim women were forced to remove headscarves at Schedule 7 stops:

It says, “Through our interactions, we have begun to see a rising number of women stopped under Schedule 7. There is no way to gauge if this is a deliberate policy change, or whether it is simply due to an increase in reporting from impacted people.

“We are in touch with a number of Muslim women who were forced to remove their headscarves during Schedule 7 stops;

“During examinations many are forced to remove their headscarves in order that mug-shots are taken of them;

“This is a gross violation of their right to practice their faith and an attack on their person given that Schedule 7 stops are suspicionless;

“There is a lack of appropriate safeguards for Muslim women, which only amplifies the sense of victimhood and the Islamophobic nature of these stops.”

Muhammad Rabbani, International Director for CAGE, said, “The discrimination faced by Muslim travellers highlights how embedded Islamophobia is in Schedule 7, and in broader counter terrorism powers. Officers routinely ask intrusive questions about religion and practice, which amounts to a modern day inquisition.”

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