Human Aid UK demands apology from Head of Met Police for harassment of staff and wasting charity resourcesMonday 18th May 2020
London – In a letter sent today to Dame Cressida Dick, Human Aid UK (HAUK) demanded an apology for heavy-handed policing by Counter Terrorism Officersduring a Schedule 7 border stop on 9th July 2019 . At the stop, aid workers wereinterrogated, searched and all donations confiscated - only to be cleared andreturned 10 months later with no apology . In its letter, the Chair of Human Aidalso raised concerns and evidenced a pattern of harassment  by Police and otheragencies, hindering legitimate charitable work at a time when scarce Policeresources are being diverted from credible risks elsewhere.
Human Aid has filed a formal complaint with the Independent Office for PoliceConduct detailing the harms that have resulted from this abuse of power by Police.
In his letter to Cressida Dick, Nur Choudhury, Chair of Human Aid said:
- “[the decision to intercept the aid delegation] became an effective - and‘lawful’ - way to prevent the aid mission from succeeding and preventvaluable lifesaving aid from reaching the besieged people of Gaza. This ispoliticised policing and damages our confidence in the independence of thepolice...”
Saghir Hussain, Lawyer for Human Aid said:
- “There will always be tension between the realpolitik of governments and theconcerns of the humanitarian sector. Therefore, the UK Government has toact within its own limitations on Assad’s tyranny of his own people andIsrael’s cruelty towards the Palestinian people, especially the siege of Gaza. However, when concerned citizens take personal risks to help the people ofSyria and Gaza, they should be applauded rather than be subjected to pettyand coercive policies.”
Notes to Editors: