London tube and buses chosen to highlight anti-Muslim hate crime

Police officers and anti-hate crime campaigners visited London communities and transport infrastructure on Monday to raise awareness and urge better reporting of hate crimes. (Photo courtesy: Transport for London (TfL)
Updated 17 October 2017
0

London tube and buses chosen to highlight anti-Muslim hate crime

LONDON: A campaign against anti-Muslim hate crime was launched across London buses and tubes on Monday.
Transport for London (TfL) and police in the UK capital are working together on 200 events across in support of the broader National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
Muslims have been the targets of several attacks on London buses and tubes — some of which have been posted on YouTube and other social media.
Spikes in anti-Muslim hate crime were recorded in both London and Manchester following terror attacks in the cities this summer as innocent members of the public became victims of violence and abuse.
Newspaper reports over the summer reveal numerous incidents involving attacks on Muslims in the capital ranging from an acid attack on two cousins in East London to a woman who had a hijab ripped from her head at Baker Street tube station.
Between April and June 2017, reports of hate crime on the transport network of the capital increased by a quarter to 822 compared with the same period last year, according to official figures.
“Every so often, a member of our congregation can find themselves being abused on London’s transport network, and we want to send a clear message, that you do not have to be afraid and that you can report incidents discreetly to the police,” said Nozmul Hussain, CEO of the East London Mosque Trust.
Police officers visited communities in east London yesterday along with TfL staff and representatives from Tell Mama – a reporting service for victims of anti-Muslim hate crime.
They urged people to report hate crimes and stressed that “London’s public transport system is safe and welcoming for all.”
“London represents one of the most diverse capital cities in the world, and we will never tolerate those that seek to divide us through hatred and bigotry we will always stand united,” said Detective Superintendent Adnan Qureshi from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command.


Congo rebels kill 15, abduct kids in Ebola outbreak region

Updated 56 min 59 sec ago
0

Congo rebels kill 15, abduct kids in Ebola outbreak region

  • “We condemn this attack,” said WHO’s director-general
  • Allied Democratic Forces rebels attacked Congolese army positions and several neighborhoods of Beni on Saturday and into Sunday

JOHANNESBURG: Congolese rebels killed 15 civilians and abducted a dozen children in an attack at the center of the latest deadly Ebola outbreak, Congo’s military said Sunday, as the violence threatened to again force the suspension of crucial virus containment efforts.
“We condemn this attack,” said the World Health Organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Everyone should work on achieving peace and fight Ebola.”
Allied Democratic Forces rebels attacked Congolese army positions and several neighborhoods of Beni on Saturday and into Sunday, Capt. Mak Hazukay Mongha told The Associated Press. The UN peacekeeping mission said its troops exchanged fire with rebels in the Mayangose area of Beni.
Angry over the killings, Beni residents on Sunday carried four of the bodies to the town hall, where police dispersed them with tear gas. Vehicles of aid organizations and the peacekeeping mission were pelted with stones, the UN-backed Radio Okapi reported.
The ADF rebels have killed hundreds of civilians in recent years and are just one of several militias active in Congo’s far northeast.
Late last month, Ebola outbreak containment efforts were suspended for days in Beni after a deadly attack, complicating work to find and track suspected contacts of infected people. Since then, many of the new confirmed Ebola cases have been reported in Beni as the rate of new cases overall has more than doubled, alarming aid groups.
The latest attack comes after two medical agents with the Congolese army were shot dead — the first time health workers have been killed by rebels in this outbreak.
It is a “dark day” for everyone fighting Ebola, Congo’s health minister said late Saturday while announcing the deaths.
Mai Mai rebels surged from the forest and opened fire on the unarmed agents with the army’s rapid intervention medical unit at an entrance to Butembo city, the health ministry said.
The daytime attack appeared premeditated, with civilians present left unharmed, the statement said. The medical agents had been placed in “dangerous zones” to assist national border health officials.
Confirmed Ebola cases have now reached 200, including 117 deaths.
Health workers in this outbreak, declared on Aug. 1, have described hearing gunshots daily, operating under the armed escort of UN peacekeepers or Congolese security forces and ending work by sundown to lower the risk of attack.
Congo’s health ministry has reported “numerous aggressions” against health workers. Early this month two Red Cross volunteers were severely injured in a confrontation with wary community members in a region traumatized by decades of fighting and facing an Ebola outbreak for the first time.
“Health agents are not a target for armed groups,” Health Minister Oly Ilunga said on Saturday. “Our agents will continue to go into the field each day to fulfill the mission entrusted to them. They are true heroes and we will continue to take all necessary measures so that they can do their job safely.”
On Wednesday, WHO said it was “deeply concerned” by the outbreak but announced it does not yet warrant being declared a global emergency. An outbreak must be “an extraordinary event” that might cross borders, requiring a coordinated response. Confirmed cases have been found near the heavily traveled border with Uganda.
In the latest example of the rumors that pose another serious challenge to containing the virus, the health ministry said 22 youth in Butembo dug up the body of an Ebola victim and opened the body bag, “wanting to verify that no organs had been taken from the body by health workers.”
They ended up touching highly infectious bodily fluids, the ministry said. “The next day, they agreed to be vaccinated,” joining the more than 20,000 people who have received vaccinations so far.