‘My name has been cleared’, says ex-Nottingham student Rizwaan Sabir
A MUSLIM STUDENT who spent seven days in police custody after downloading an Al Qaeda training manual from a US Government website as part of research for his PHD has been awarded £20,000 compensation.
Rizwaan Sabir, 26, was arrested under the Terrorism Act in 2008 when he downloaded the document – which is available to buy from leading booksellers – as part of his course at the University of Nottingham.
He was held in custody before being released without charge.
Nottinghamshire Police confirmed they had agreed to pay Mr Sabir £20,000 in compensation.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Sabir said: “We’ve got to put this document into context, one it was downloaded from an American government website and actually a fuller version can be obtained through the University of Nottingham’s own library and in fact it can even be purchased from the likes of WH Smith, Blackwells and Waterstones book shops,” Mr Sabir said.
“This is hardly the stuff of terrorists. It was quite frankly disproportionate and over zealous action.
“I can now proudly say that some form of vindication has been achieved and my name has been cleared.”
But despite paying out £20,000 Nottinghamshire police said they stood by the arrest.
In a statement the force said: “Nottinghamshire Police can confirm that Mr Sabir’s civil case has been settled for £20,000 in full and final settlement. We stand by the fact that the arrest, detention and obtaining of a warrant of further detention were all perfectly legal, proportionate and necessary in the circumstances as they were in 2008.”
The force officially apologised for a stop and search on Mr Sabir in February 2010 and said it had agreed to “amend some records held on Mr Sabir to give them greater clarity.”