Father of young family dies in custody
Habib Ullah died on Thursday 3rd July 2008. He encountered breathing difficulties after the car he was in was searched for drugs in Lee Court, Sharrow Vale, High Wycombe, UK, during a stop and search by Police Officers, at approximately 7.15pm. He was 39 years old and leaves behind a young family. Known to his friends as ‘Paps’, Habib, who was restrained by a number of police officers, was later pronounced dead at Wycombe Hospital.
Family and supporters are concerned how a man can die in the process of being arrested and how he came to have breathing difficulties. An Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation commenced shortly after his death.
Mr Ullah, who had been restrained by police officers, was rushed to Wycombe Hospital where he was pronounced dead. It is alledged that a package was removed from his windpipe and had been sent away for testing.
Habib’s grieving sister said her family need to know what happened to her brother ‘for the sake of his children.’ She added; “We were a family of five; three brothers and two sisters. Now we are four.” We are concerned about what happened and we want to know how our brother died. “Habib’s children are young now, but when they grow older they will want to know how their father died.”
His family and four brothers and sisters, who also live in Slough, have expressed concerns about how they found out about his death and the police version of events.
The interim report by the IPCC said that doctors at Wycombe Hospital had removed ‘a package’ from Mr Ullah’s windpipe. It also said that the results of the initial post-mortem were ‘inconclusive.’
Mr Ullah’s friends are now leading a campaign under the banner of ‘Justice for Paps’ and planning to stage a series of demonstrations in the High Wycombe area.
In a statement, published by the IPCC, Mike Franklin, IPCC Commissioner for the Thames Valley, said: “The circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Habib Ullah continue to be independently investigated by the IPCC. “This process will be open and transparent. We will continue to update all interested parties at regular intervals throughout this investigation and we will publicly make known all of our findings.”
A three-minute video placed on video website YouTube shows two demonstrations in the town over the death of Habib Ullah. People are seen holding signs asking why?’ and the video features comments from friends of Mr Ullah.
In an opening message the video says the “peaceful vigils” were to “show our concerns and ask why”. It shows people gathered outside High Wycombe Police Station in Queen Victoria Road on July 10 and two days later in Frogmoor.
One man says in the video: “We are here making a stand for ourselves.” Another says of the gathering: “I spent 33 years growing up with the chap so, on a personal note, I am very much moved.”
Saqib Deshmukh, 40, who made the video, said: “If it is not on the mainstream media people will access information through other means.
“You might get a young person who wouldn’t maybe open a newspaper but would use the internet.”
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