Was emailed this link to a letter by Dhiren (Eesa) Barot:http://al-istiqamah.com/IF/Barot1.htm Eesa Barot's Letter to the Ummah
Eesa (Dhiren) Barot, was arrested in August 2004 and held for over two and a half years in the High Secure Unit at HMP Belmarsh. He was convicted in November 2006 over the Gas Limos Plot and sentenced to 40 years minimum without parole (later reduced on appeal to 30 years). Eesa was subsequently transferred to HMP Frankland where he was brutally burnt with boiling oil by fellow inmates. Al-istiqamah.com is pleased to publish this exclusive letter written by Eesa to us which reveals an alarming picture of institutionalised racism and islamaphobia facing Muslim inmates in UK prisons.
Click here to see a page of the original letter:http://al-istiqamah.com/IF/BarotLetter.htm
Assalamu Alaikum w.r. w.b.,
Just over three months have passed since the recent event that encompassed me. Unfortunately, I still have a long way to go; my injuries are quite debilitating. Though my grading on paper is officially AA High Risk, I could tell you grim stories of how in reality it is more reflective of AAA Exceptional Risk. My point here is not to suggest 'pity me' — God forbid. But it is with a view to educate other Muslims and let them know that my world is greatly different from other inmates since arguably I have been transformed/considered to be the UK's most ill-reputed prisoner — a modern-day Freddy Krueger — even more so than Ian Huntley and others.Oppressive Conditions as Compared to Other "AA" High Risk Inmates
Miss Arani who has a small handful of other AA Cat clients has commented on the heightened security that surrounds me. For instance, a snapshot day or week in my life even before coming to the hospital Unit would have read as follows:
- 3 intensive cell searches, including a strip-search over a period of only two weeks. 'A' Category inmates might only receive one over a three month duration and other 'High Risk' Category inmates would normally get one in two weeks - if that.
- 2 visits to the segregation block (solitary confinement) in one week under the guise of 'suspicion of having a mobile phone'.
- Being given an 'official' warning for allegedly failing to submit myself for a urine test under the assumption that I may have been guilty of drug usage! All under false pretexts.
- Being denied suitable Islamic literature/ CDs for several years under some excuse or another, save for the most elementary of titles. These are mostly from the Indo/Pak subcontinent, paralysed and jaundiced due to Government influence.
I am being kept in a state of semi-incommunicado - unjustified. Setting the Stage for the Attack
There too remains the issue of keeping me at arm's length from other inmates. Any time the prison feels that I may have found a 'friend' that I may be 'overly' socialising with, more often than not the individual/s concerned are promptly shipped out to other establishments. Why? For irrational fear of 'sermonizing' or 'talent scouting' of course because they believe I have an arresting personality! The same goes for physical training with other inmates.
And of course nearly always being placed on the wings where there are next to no practicing Muslims, Asians or black persons and then them feigning surprise when I am half burnt to death. I was located in an environment where there were approximately 90 white males - excluding staff of the same - and merely around ten people of ethnic origin! Most of these people could well be described as the dregs, or underbelly (of society). Can you believe, the prison authorities are stating that this major imbalance at Frankland was a mere coincidence and are still attempting to retain me here as well as trying to extricate themselves from culpability. And certainly the Home Office, with their carte blanche attitude, has much to answer for too since the final decision rests with them.
It is far too convenient that although normally I am oppressively monitored around the clock — sometimes every fifteen minutes, every single movement recorded, be it exiting/entering my cell, shower, kitchen area etc — on the black day itself there were next to no staff around. There are many indications that show there was a treacherous trickle down from top to bottom, from government to prison establishment to the trailer park trash that descended on me.
Not only have I been subjected to mentally tortuous surroundings over the years (HSU etc.) but now physically too in order to break my psyche (and I don't just mean a mere beating that leaves a handful of bruises).Delay in Receiving Medical Treatment
10% of my body has suffered deep horrific 2nd and 3rd degree burns. You'll be surprised to know that for the first three days following attack, although in unspeakable agony as well as being initially blinded in both eyes due to massive swelling caused by the severe head trauma, I was not even rushed to hospital, as any other prisoner would have been, regardless of category, since in my case security and financial niggardliness remains their 'first' priority and concern. It was only when Miss Arani threatened Judicial Review that the stance was changed and even then, though barely able to walk, I remained 'dog-chained' by wrist for four days under 24-hour intrusive bed-watch by four prison guards and armed police wearing body-armour who shut half the hospital down.Irresponsible Media Coverage
There has been a great deal of emotive publicity lampooning me. Certainly, the incessant tabloid junk has wilfully served only to push me to the forefront of the prison population vilifying, character assassinating and generally creating many bad vibes for me.
Moreover, we also know that the Fourth Estate (the Media) in many ways is simply an extended tentacle of the incumbents at the Establishment. So ultimately the onus of what happened to me bears a broader spectrum shared by many.
Please also refer to the September 2004 fiction drama: 'The Grid' with leading actor Bernard Hill in which a 'home-grown' terrorist is jailed. In a final, deliberately emotive closing scene his jugular vein is slashed by other white convicts leading him to bleed out next to a toilet adjacent - by means of sarcastic innuendo - to an arrow pointing towards the Qibla (prayer direction for Muslims) and Makkah. Even though by and large it remains a quite unreal generally flop production, I had no doubt then, and now, that this grisly 'take' at the end was to drive home a real message to any potential young Muslim 'upstarts' out there. This being that one can expect mirrored treatment should they attempt to emulate or pick up from where other terror convicts have left off (those that are now imprisoned). In other words to drive the fear of God or 'terrorise' anyone from following suit.
Such images leave one to seriously question whether the media-controlling, manipulative Establishment actually wished for the like to transpire as part of their 'War on Terror'. In grim hindsight there appears now to be no doubt, evidently. Given also that on paper, terrorist convicts are compartmentalised (by the security agencies) as functioning in either 'operational' or 'spiritual' categories, (further sub-divided into 'sheep' or shepherds') it comes as no surprise that I was the recipient of such a yellow-bellied attack. No surprise because I have habitually been deemed to be the biggest scalp on these shores. And as for 'cowardly', that's precisely what my 'junkie assassins' were since they crept up from behind, under the guise of night, in order to 'jug me', dousing me first with boiling water and then with boiling oil. In spite of this, alhamdulillah, I was fighting two of them, since for a while I was a vexed powder keg that exploded.
Subsequently, now, it comes as no surprise that the prison brotherhood is starting to defend themselves and fight back using the same means and methods as employed by the white racists/Islamaphobes - perhaps you have already heard? Alhamdulillah. Even so, this doesn't detract from the horrific injuries I have already sustained. If you hang bait off a hook for long enough, fish will eventually bite. And indeed they deliberately placed me amongst the piranhas.Lies Deliberately Leaked to the Press to Sustain a Climate of Fear
The POA (Prison Officers Association) have recently stated in a misleading statement, hackneyed to say the least, that Muslim terrorists are being targeted due to their crimes against innocents. In such case we beg to ask what of the crimes of the IRA that, whether intended or not, also resulted in mass civilian casualties? Or even David Copeland (and other white terrorists) the nail bomber who, by his own admission, attempted to start a race war. All of these Caucasian terrorists have been accepted amongst the general prison population and have integrated successfully without fear of reprisal. Hence it is cockeyed in the least to not see that racism and Islamaphobia is a driving force behind these heinous assaults - often supported by those entrusted with position and keys- that wilfully turn a blind eye. The message is clear: 'White terrorists' will be tolerated but outlandish ones not!
Moreover, in the false claim, again by the POA, that Muslim inmates have been attempting to radicalise others it is important to note that other than empty accusation, sourced merely from the 'prison grapevine', authorities have failed to provide any concrete evidence to support these baseless claims in spite of numerous cell searches, monitoring etc.Where is the Support?
Although I am the author of this letter I emphasise that I, along with many inmates, at one point or another have repeatedly been the recipients of promotional leaflets/postcards encouraging support for other brothers, whose prison conditions are far less restrictive than ours. Frankly, it can be humiliating and incensing to have our noses rubbed in it — the lack of the British Ummah's (community's) empathy towards the rest of us — their sons too. 'Do not forget they too have given their today for your tomorrow.' Is there any to lend ear?
Do these Muslim organisations believe that we may be enjoying the backing of international power bases and thus we do not require domestic care and assistance? This is wrong, as wrong as can be, for we are not machines after all and require support as much as the next man.
The guys in the special HSU (High Secure Unit) at Belmarsh, where I too languished for over two years, also need a great deal of support since the environment there is near to being a segregation block and claustrophobic like no other. I hope the lackadaisical attitude of the British segment of the Ummah will end. For further info/updates please kindly contact the respective legal reps.
Miss A [Arani] (may Allah bless her and preserve her) has attempted to bring about awareness as regards my stay at HMP Service, which is undoubtedly red in tooth and claw, due to lack of voice and indifference from the silent majority. And I would not have it any other way. Blessed be the sisterhood; her, yourself and Yvonne [Ridley] and many others whom I know will never be muzzled from speaking out against injustice. Where are all the brothers in all of this, I wonder? Are they all inconceivably suddenly on something '007' that they cannot speak out? Or have they forgotten that I spent 32 years of the life Allah gave me on the outside, well acquainted from afar with their 'biryani and coca-cola' existence as coined sardonically by Abdullah Azzam (RH). May Allah in His Magnanimity grant us all the Hidayyah (guidance) and the Ikhlaas (sincerity). Ameen.
Brother in Islam,