Babar Ahmad tells court he thought police officers would kill him

originally by: The Guardian
5th May 2011

A British Muslim has told a court how specialist police officers had beat him so badly in a dawn raid at his home that he had thought he was going to die. Southwark crown court heard from Babar Ahmad, 37, how he was the subject of a prolonged and vicious attack, starting in the bedroom of his home and continuing in a police van and at a London police station.

Ahmad was under surveillance, and the officers had been told he had been trained as a terrorist and fought in Bosnia, the court has been told.

Giving evidence on the second day of the trial of four officers who deny charges of assaulting Ahmad, he said that, after he had been repeatedly kicked and punched, one officer put him in a headlock in the back of the police van.

The jury heard from him that one officer straddled him and said: “You will remember this day for the rest of your life, you fucking bastard. Do you understand me?” Ahmad said: “He squeezed and kept on squeezing. I remember the pressure to the side of my neck. He squeezed and squeezed and squeezed, and held it in that position.

“I thought he would hold it for a few seconds, and, if I hold my breath, I could bear it and he would let go. But he didn’t let go. I was panicking because I couldn’t do anything or move. It’s like drowning. There is nothing you can do. He kept squeezing to the point where I thought ‘This guy is going to kill me. He wants to kill me. I am going to die in this van’.”

Medical examinations carried out four days later showed blood in Ahmad’s urine and that there had been bleeding in the middle of both of his ears. Shortly after the arrest in December 2003, he was released without charge.

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