Friday, October 31, 2008

Deaths in custody remembrance in London

THE TUC last Saturday joined the United Friends and Families Campaign (UFFC) to protest about deaths in custody and to call on the Government to give a proper account of the circumstances of these tragedies.
The protest assembled at midday in Trafalgar Square for a remembrance procession along Whitehall and to deliver a letter to Downing Street.
In a letter to the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “The TUC believes that the state has a duty of care towards the people it takes into custody and a responsibility to be open and accountable when deaths occur.
“We believe that an independent public inquiry on deaths in custody should be held to ensure that lessons are learnt from previous deaths and to prevent future deaths.”
The UFFC was set up by families who have relatives who have died in police custody, in prison or in psychiatric care. The organisation is campaigning for reforms in the way deaths in custody are investigated.
It is asking the Government to hold a public inquiry into deaths in custody to ensure that lessons are learnt from the past and that future deaths are avoided.
Families attending include those of Jean Charles de Menezes, Roger Sylvester, Brian Douglas, Mikey Powell, Christopher Alder, Paul Coker and Coker and Jason McPherson.
This march, the 10th, also commemorated the tragic death of Pauline Campbell who was in the midst of a campaign for justice for her daughter Sarah.

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