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A key piece of ‘information’ undermined by the official police investigating body, shines the spotlight on revelations by The Eye that protests about the death of a young black man in Cardiff were supported by extreme left wingers, with one group organised by a university academic who backs a project for educating pre-school children, and which promotes beating up English people.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is looking into South Wales Police (SWP) contact with Mohamud (or Mahamud) Mohammed Hassan but so far its investigation could find no evidence that a police taser had been used.
A post-mortem examination gave a provisional cause of death as unascertained, and an inquest heard that doctors were unable to give a medical reason.
Mr Hassan’s family have always claimed the 24-year-old was assaulted in custody and protests were held following his death in January.
But Catrin Evans Director for Wales of the IOPC, said: “…there is no evidence to suggest that Mr Hassan was Tasered at any stage either prior to or during his detention”.
The astonishing news half way through the IOPC inquiry, puts centre stage earlier disclosures by our journalists about the protests, which followed Mr Hassan’s death soon after leaving police custody.
A picture of the demonstration was posted on social media by the organisation Desolation Radio (DR) and it has also been stated: “Massive shout out to the people of Wrexham who’ve spent all day beating up English people – truly gods work, a big well done to all involved!!
DR describes itself on Twitter as a “Podcast on Welsh politics, society & culture” and has declared: “We were joined by our good friend and comrade Paul (O’Connell) to reflect on the global crisis of capitalism and think about what lies ahead in the coming years”.
A photograph of the protest in support of Mr Hassan outside Cardiff Bay police station was published by the group, saying above it: “‘South Wales police are corrupt, everyone knows it, they are institutionally racist and they exist just to bully our community, to bully young black men…they need to be put into special measures’”.
But plainly the earlier ‘beating up English people’ tweet by DR, incurred the wrath of a leading politician in Wales. The Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru (WP/SC) member Neil McEvoy tweeted to them: “Quite incredible you have not deleted that tweet. Shame on you.” with the hashtag “bigots”.
The founder of DR and co-host of the podcast is Daniel (Dan) Evans, a research assistant at Cardiff University (CU) who proclaims on the website for the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD): “Outside my research on Welsh education, I am presently writing a book for the University of Wales Press which explores the themes which arose in my PhD, namely the work of (Marxist theoretician) Antonio Gramsci, in particular his concept of passive revolution and its relevance to Wales and the UK.
The ‘research’ Dr Evans stresses is for the Welsh Government’s (WG) Foundation Phase of early years education for children aged three to seven, and he states on the WISERD website: “An important but neglected issue in the implementation of the Foundation Phase is the access that children have to the Foundation Phase curriculum before they enter the reception year in primary schools… my role at WISERD is to work with Dr Mirain Rhys (of Cardiff Metropolitan University [CMU]) in researching the varied ways in which local authorities in Wales are providing flexible, pre-school access to the Foundation Phase”.
Meanwhile on the blog of Lee Jasper it was announced: “Mahamud was subjected to a statutory post-mortem conducted on behalf of the state by Dr Ryk James whose interim report and findings whilst inconclusive at this stage on the precise cause of death, nevertheless flatly contradicts the assertion by South Wales police that their enquiries “found no evidence of any significant injury or excessive force…” being used by their officers during the arrest and detention of Mr Hassan.
Mr Jasper was a candidate for the far left Respect Party at the Croydon North by-election in November 2012, and has written in a UK paper: “we (may) have not seen the last riotous disturbance; for where there is no justice, there can be no peace”.
Another protester was Bianca Ali who was summonsed and can pay a £500 fixed penalty fine or request a court hearing.
Mr Hassan was arrested at his Cardiff home on suspicion of breach of the peace, but released without charge the next morning, and his death prompted several days of demonstrations. But coverage of the protests by the mainstream media has also proved contentious.
There was no mention in reports that people had apparently flouted lockdown rules as they protested against what they claimed was an assault in custody, or whether there was an exemption and what the reason might have been for one. Breaching these rules, however, was the dominant issue in UK news reports at the time, amid cruicial government advice on this important subject, and a soaring death rate then caused by the pandemic.
It was not included at all in a ‘report’ on the demonstrations in the BBC Cymru Wales (BBC CW) flagship evening TV news programme Wales Today (WT) on which our Editor Phil Parry worked for two years. One senior journalist at BBC CW said: “This was shallow journalism. Mentioning the social distancing rules is basic stuff”.
But WT has failed to cover itself in glory before, highlighting a series of errors by BBC CW. Programme-makers used a picture of Brighton Pavilion during coverage of the start of the extremely important Muslim month of Ramadan instead of a mosque, and the mistake was then featured in the Brighton Argus.
One Twitter user complained: “BBC Wales showing a picture of the Brighton Pavilion and getting it confused for a mosque when talking about Ramadan is kind of f****d?”. Another wrote furiously: “Not happy they’ve used a shot of Brighton Pavilion as though it’s a mosque (presumably)”.
There was no reference either to these rules being broken in the coverage online on the BBC CW website, even though clear pictures were included.
It merely stated: “More than 300 people took part in a march from the city centre to Cardiff Bay police station”.
The website WalesOnline also didn’t refer to the apparent transgression of social distancing rules in its report either.
It was merely published that: “Hundreds of people protested outside Cardiff Bay police station tonight following the death of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan, after he was released from police custody”.
The ‘news’ was much the same on the ITV Cymru Wales website: “The First Minister has said he is deeply concerned by the death of 24-year-old Mohamud Mohammed Hassan, as hundreds joined in a protest headed for Cardiff Bay Police Station”.
But it was evident for all to see, and Mr Parry had viewed with his own eyes, how these rules had been defied in the demonstration, because he was caught up in it when it reached Butetown.
Yet the advice from the UK and Welsh Governments was crystal clear when the protest happened, that people should keep at least two metres apart during this unprecedented lockdown crisis.
This was the official guidance: “To reduce the risk of catching or spreading coronavirus, you should minimise time spent with people you do not live with, and when around other people ensure that you are two metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble.
“Social distancing is essential to stop the spread of the virus, as it is more likely to spread when people are close together”.
This has all been exacerbated by glowing reports on the BBC CW website about renovation of Cyfarthfa Castle near Merthyr Tydfil which is being spearheaded by Geraint Talfan Davies, but did not mention that he is the father of the Director of BBC CW Rhodri Talfan Davies.
Yet BBC CW could, perhaps, have turned to its own UK website which reinforced the point about social distancing, and gave details of a survey which revealed that most were in fact following these stringent rules.
One report about it stated: “The same survey shows that over the course of the pandemic (even when rules were loosened) around nine in 10 people say they have consistently followed social distancing and contact rules”.
Revelations that no taser was used in the contact by the police with Mr Hassan, also shows the true nature of those protests which followed his death, and which BBC CW reported omitting the social distancing rules…
The memories of Phil’s extraordinary decades long award-winning career in journalism (when stories behind the headlines were always highlighted) as he was gripped by the incurable disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in the book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order the book now! The picture doubles as a cut-and-paste poster!