Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News – 2012-11-22
Another savage case of police brutality has surfaced. Will it ever stop? On Sunday 18th November 2012, two Muslim women in Niqaab (face veil), from Robertsham were brutally assaulted by allegedly drunken police officers from the Booysens police station in Johannesburg.
A video in the possession of Radio Islam clearly shows how Shireen Sheik and her daughter Naazneen Kader were savagely and brutally assaulted, by police officers that gave scant regard for the two Muslim women. Shireen and her daughter are in niqaab (face veil), and the police officers touched them desecrating the sanctity of the veil. The names of the two officers are known to Radio Islam.
Speaking to Radio Islam, an emotional Naazneen described the events that unfolded that Sunday morning.
Naazneen said that on Sunday morning, they heard someone at the window calling out ‘hello’. When she opened the door, she was accosted by two police officers. They asked her to open the gate accusing her of causing a disturbance. “So I opened the gate, one police grabbed me, hit me against the wall, threw me on the floor and started dragging me outside.” said Naazneen.
Naazneen’s mother started to scream asking the police officers what they were doing and why was the assault happening to her daughter. She got no answer. She says one of the officer’s breath reeked of beer all the while sitting on top of her daughter. He pressed her neck and brutally assaulted her for over an hour. The police officer kept on shouting, ‘I am going to kill you, I am going to kill you’. Naazneen said, “As he was holding my throat with one hand, his other hand was touching me on my upper regions and the rest of my body.”
When Shireen came to the assistance of her daughter, the second policeman started assaulting Shireen. He started hitting her, punching her, dragging her and throwing her against the wall. Shireens screams alerted friends who came to assist, but they were arrested by the police.
“When they took us to the bakkie, they threw us in the bakkie like how they throw sheep; they just flung us in the bakkie. After they did that, they started spraying something in the bakkie that smelt like chloroform. We started choking and choking and we passed out in the bakkie. When we come to again we were still in the bakkie and, they sprayed us again and again we passed out again” added Naazneen.
According to Naazneen when they went to the police station, they tried telling other officers about their ordeal. However the policemen at the station accused Shireen and Naazneen of being at fault. The police made these accusations, because while the first police officer was assaulting Naazneen, she wanted to save her own life, so she scratched the police officers face causing it to bleed. “The cop that assaulted us, we never saw him nowhere in the police station, because we wanted him to take a breathalyzer test. He was nowhere to be found. They kept saying he’s been admitted, he’s been admitted. There was nothing seriously wrong with him. And when he eventually came to the police station it was 5pm, he said he’s going to get us. All of them were threatening us. They said they know where we stay, they are threatening our lives,” said Naazneen.
“They kicked us, they punched us, they hit us so much, they had no mercy on us. We were only screaming Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great), Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great), Allah must save us. We were hurt so badly. My voice is gone because of the chloroform they put on our throat. When we went to the police station, even the polices there were interrogating us, they were intimidating us, telling us we are going to put you in the (ward). Fine your’ll are hurt now, you must see what we gonna do to you in the cells. They were very, very merciless towards us said a teary eyed and emotional Shireen.
Shireen said that she does not want anything like this ordeal to happen to any of her Muslims sisters or mothers. “They were dressed in their uniforms; they had no warrant or anything of that sort to do that to us, “added Shireen.
The police are accusing Shireen and Naazneen of initiating the assault, however according to Shireen, she, her 2 daughters, grandson and all her neighbours witnessed the incident. She said that they have a video recording of assault including Naazneen’s clothing which was ripped and torn from being dragged which they will use as evidence against the police.
The police charged Shireen with theft an interference and Naazneen for assault and they have been released on R500 bail each. Subsequently, Shireen and Naazneen were taken to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg for medical assesment and treatment. Shireen was too emotional to lay charges but her daughter Naazneen tried laying charges at the Booysens police station, prompting one officer to remark “You are back again.” Naazneen was turned away from the Booysens police station, so she laid charges at the Mondeor police station. (Case No. 488/112012) speaking to Captain Naidu who said he would gladly assist her.
According to Captain Naidu, a case was opened by Naazneen at Mondeor police station. However, since the incident does not fall within the jurisdiction of Mondeor, Captain Naidu forwarded the case docket back to Booysens for further investigation. Attempts to get a comment from Booysens police station have proved unsuccessful.