A Father’s Wait for Justice

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On the Fourth Anniversary of the Birmingham Riots – His Anguish Continues


Four years after the 2011 riots, a Birmingham father has expressed his frustration over the lack of movement in his son’s murder case. Talking exclusively to The Asian Today, who has created a petition to examine the police investigation of his son’s murder, has said he has lost faith in the justice system. The 2011 Pride of Britain winner has now called on the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to look into the flawed court case of Haroon Jahan (19) and brothers Shahzad Ali (31) and Abdul Musavir (30) – who died during the 2011 Birmingham Riots. Eight men were charged with the murder, however were acquitted after the case collapsed due to police incompetence.


Tariq Jahan had been commended for stopping revenge attacks in the Winson Green area hours after his son died. “Black, white, Asians – we all live in the same community … step forward if you want to lose your son. Otherwise, calm down and go home – please.” His words travelled the world as politicians, religious and community leaders heaped praised on him.


However, four years later, the feeling of betrayal lingers inside of him. Mr Jahan said he watched as his son’s murderers walked free but said he would continue the fight for justice. “As time goes on, people tend to forget. “When my son died, I said to the press, ‘A day from now, maybe two days from now, the whole world will forget and nobody will care,’” For me, it is trying to keep the story alive. It is about getting to the bottom of this and getting some justice and some accountability.


“August marks four years. For a parent, it is easy. You keep fighting for your child. Three men were killed on the streets of Birmingham. All the evidence was there. But because of a catalogue of errors by West Midlands Police and their CPS, on a high profile case like this, you get no justice.


“I’ve lost faith in the justice system. My idea was that keep calm, we have a justice system. We will get justice and accountability. So many errors were made in this case, so much needs to come out.


“I have a stack of awards; I would give all those back just to get justice. It is not right. People focus on me, but what about the other family? Mr Zafar Ali. Nobody has ever spoken about him. He is a father who has lost two sons. The emphasis is on me because I said something good in the beginning. What about the young kid that was born after his father died? Shahzad’s son. His mother is bringing him on his own. That family had two working sons. They have no support now. Their father wants to know if he will see justice before he dies.


“If we get a public inquiry I want answers. I want accountability. In the sense that who made the mistakes?


“During the trial we felt like bystanders. We watched the CPS make mistakes. I had to watch video footage of my son being hit 12 times. They were hit at 67mph.


The 49-year-old recently met with Prince William who gave him his backing of setting up a public inquiry into the incident. “After meeting Prince William, I do believe he will back my case. Four years after the incident and the momentum is really slow. We have to keep banging doors and keep waking people up to tell them. We won’t put this to rest until we get accountability.


“At the time, the CPS was charging those eight men with just murder. That did not make any sense to me. How do you charge eight men when there was only one person driving? You cannot convince the jury of that. At the end, when they were acquitted, the CPS did not make a statement.”


“The bottom line is that if this was to happen again would you expect their parents to come out and say that they have faith in the justice system?”

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