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UK faces claims of border discrimination against Pakistanis

London: The UK is working to address claims that people of Pakistani origin are 52 times more likely to be stopped at its borders compared to other South Asians.  A report by the country's Equality
PTI January 14, 2014 19:42 IST
PTI
London: The UK is working to address claims that people of Pakistani origin are 52 times more likely to be stopped at its borders compared to other South Asians.  

A report by the country's Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found last month that stops under the Terrorism Act in 2010-11 - when divided under nine separate ethnic categories of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Chinese - revealed that those of Pakistani background were shown to have a highly disproportionate number of stops.  

They were 135 times more likely to be questioned and examined for more than an hour and 154 times more likely to be detained.

“Schedule 7 (of the Terrorism Act 2000) is a vital border security power which helps the police, Security Service and other agencies detect and disrupt terrorist threats,” the Home Office said in a statement, adding that it was working closely with the EHRC to tackle claims of discrimination.  

It said the schedule directly led to about 20 prosecutions a year for terrorist-related offences between 2005 and 2009 and a number of key individuals have been convicted after being stopped at a port or airport.

“We are working with those responsible for these examinations to ensure they are following their own guidelines, which prohibit discrimination on ethnic grounds in the exercise of this power,” the EHRC said.