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Muslim groups talk to Dillon today

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Several Muslim groups are expected to speak with National Security Minister Edmund Dillon by today on recent detentions of people - including a woman and two mosque leaders - during the probe of a plot to disrupt Carnival 2018.

This was confirmed by security sources yesterday. It is understood the ministry asked to meet with groups to speak on the issue. Several Muslim groups have expressed concern over the way some detentions have occurred since last Thursday, when police revealed the plot.

The number of those detained began with four but has increased to 13. Sources said those detained are from the East-West corridor, Central Trinidad and two from south Trinidad. The latest person was held on Carnival Tuesday. A hearing was recently held for authorities to extend the detention time - by a further 96 hours - for one Freeport man who was held, they added.

Shamoon Mohammed, father of detainee Tariq Mohammed, said yesterday there’d been no response to the family’s letter to the acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams demanding his release. Mohammed said his lawyers were due to serve authorities with a writ of habeas corpus yesterday seeking that release.

“Five days have gone by and constitutionally he shouldn’t have been held so long - he went voluntarily with police,” Mohammed added.

Family members of other El Socorro area detainees yesterday questioned why “99 per cent of the detainees were Muslim.” They said they’re also pursuing legal action to secure release of their relatives

Muslims of T&T PRO Imtiaz Mohammed called on Dillon and the police to tell the public specifically, “especially the Muslim community, what the events of these (search) exercises concerned, what the people detained are being charged with and if they’re being charged with terrorism for instance.”

He added, “That word (terrorism) wasn’t used at the first press briefing, so they should come straight out and say what the matter was and what sort of ‘criminal act’ they were referring to. Those who went into bands and robbed people was a disruption of Carnival - they should be charged for terrorising people.”

Islamic Front leader Umar Abdullah added, “Authorities must say who are the foreign- accented people observed working with search parties and who are more professional than local police.”


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