Ahmed J Versi
An Official Petition was launched on April 8, to ask the Home Secretary to grant a public enquiry to look into the murders of three young men from Winson Green. Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir were killed in August 2011 during the riots in Birmingham whilst defending businesses.
So far, despite a failed court case and Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) inquiry, no one has been successfully prosecuted for these deaths, despite hundreds of witnesses to the crime.
Father of one of the victims, Tariq Jahan, has been campaigning for justice since the young men’s deaths. Working with his local MP Shabana Mahmood he has been lobbying the Home Office, asking for an open and public enquiry to establish what happened that night and why the prosecution of eight men was unsuccessful. The request has fallen on deaf ears thus far.
On January 5 last year, Tariq Jahan alongside Mahmood, met with Home Office Minister, Mike Penning, to press for an inquiry into the police and the CPS failure in getting justice. Following the deaths, Jahan issued a public appeal for calm – and was widely praised for reducing tensions and possibly preventing further violence.
But nobody has been convicted of the deaths. Eight men were charged and a trial began in 2012 at Birmingham crown court. But after two months of evidence, it was halted, when it emerged that West Midlands police had failed to disclose that key witnesses had been offered immunity from prosecution.
And in 2013 a report by the IPCC criticised elements of West Midlands Police’s inquiry into the deaths. It ruled that one police officer had acted irresponsibly in offering immunity to witnesses.
Tariq Jahan said, “I am launching this campaign, to get justice for my son and my son’s friends. They were mown down in plain sight, yet nobody has been held responsible for their deaths. I will not give up until all the facts are put on the table, which is why I am launching this petition today with Shabana Mahmood.”
Mahmood added, “Tariq Jahan saved the City that night. His son died in his arms and he asked for calm. Many would have asked for revenge but he did not. Tariq and the families deserve justice. The only way that we can get that is with a full inquiry into what happened and why the court case failed.”