- Created: Thursday, 29 May 2014 09:26
- Written by Bob Shepherd
On Friday 23 May Greater Manchester Police (GMP) failed in their vindictive attempt to seize the family home of the Farooqi Family. On the second day of the court hearing Deputy High Court Judge Henriques accepted that the family members who lived in the house were innocent of any crime and should not suffer for the actions of Munir Farooqi who had been convicted of terrorism charges in 2011 (FRFI 224). Both days of the court hearing saw large numbers of people present in support of the family holding placards and banners and leafleting passers by about the events in the court. The Save The Family Home Campaign made links between its fight for justice and those of other campaigns in Manchester, Justice 4 Grainger and Justice 4 Barton Moss that have suffered at the hands of GMP.
The court decision was a political blow to the GMP and the North West Counter Terrorism Unit who had been attempting to set a precedent in using the Terrorism legislation to seize the house in which Munir and seven family members, including two young children, lived. The decision to push for the seizure of the Farooqi family home had in fact been announced only weeks after the Labour council in Manchester had declared it would evict families of people convicted of offences during the uprisings/riots in August 2011. If the GMP had been successful in seizing the Farooqi family home it would have potentially opened the door to the state seizing the property of anyone convicted for opposing the policies of the government of the day.
When Munir lost his appeal against his conviction in September 2013 the GMP added two other houses that the family own and rent out to the property they wished to seize. They claimed that Munir owned all the properties and that his claim for legal aid for his appeal was fraudulent. Judge Henriques denied the seizure order for the two houses but ordered Munir Farooqi to pay £500,000 court costs, £400,000 for his legal aid and £100,000 for prosecution costs. This draconian decision means the Farooqi family is still under immense pressure from the British state. However after the case they declared, ‘We shall continue to fight against the injustice with the help of the community and prove that there has been a miscarriage of justice in order to free our father Munir Farooqi’.