Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Support the Sheikh Sisters Struggle for Justice!

Pack out the court room at Gloucester Crown court on 29th September 2014! 

No more racist attacks!

On 31st March 2014, Gloucester Crown Court was forced to order a re-trial of Mark Ridler and his partner Charlotte Mace for a racially aggravated attack on the Sheikh sisters on 28th August 2012.

The Sheikh sisters are four young Asian women living in Gloucester who were subjected to a horrendous campaign of racist abuse by a neighbouring white family and their racist friends which started in 2009. It included besieging the sisters in their house, constant racist abuse, and threats to kill.

The sisters reported the abuse to the police and local authorities on numerous occasions but no action was taken. In fact, hate crime protocols were ignored. The racists openly boasted that they had contacts with the police who would protect them.

As a result Mark Ridler, Charlotte Mace (along with Mark’s mother) felt emboldened to launch an extremely violent attack on the sisters on 28th August 2012. The sisters were so seriously injured that one of them had to be hospitalised with serious head injuries, which now, two years later, still require treatment.

Stop the Crown Prosecution Services and Police colluding in a travesty of justice

  • In a travesty of justice both the police and local authority have refused to treat the sisters as victims and have conducted no effective investigation.
  • The Crown Prosecution has colluded in this cover up and this vicious three year campaign of racist abuse has been treated in court as an isolated incident. Vitally important evidence about the prolonged and continuous racial harassment and intimidation which were part of this campaign of racist harassment were not made available in court.  
  • No proper specialist medical assessment of the sisters' injuries was organised by the police or CPS.

The sisters had to provide their own photos taken on their own mobile phones. In court the barristers representing Ridler and Mace were allowed to abuse the sisters accusing them of lying and claiming that it was they who attacked the racist gang. The Judge even questioned the sisters about their commitment to the UK. They were not able to view their own court case and were forced to leave the court after they gave evidence. Requests for them to be accommodated in a safe space in the court were refused. They were told they could sit in the public gallery (with the racist family & friends) or go home! Despite the way the case was conducted, because of the sisters' courage and determination to pursue the truth, the all-white jury refused to acquit the racists and did not reach a verdict.

The Judge and CPS have been forced to order a retrial which is due to take place at Gloucester Crown Court on 29th September 2014. Pack out the court room for that retrial. Support the Sheikh sisters!

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