Police Refuse to Investigate Assault on Protester

Full article posted on Indymedia 18th December 2006

Sussex police have refused to investigate a serious assault on an anti-arms trade protester by a private security guard.

On July 13th 2005 Jaya Sacca was taking part in a peaceful protest outside EDO MBM, a Brighton arms manufacturer engaged in making weapons for conflicts in Iraq and Palestine.

As he attempted to leave the protest he was assaulted and forcibly detained by three employees of Guardian Security, hired by EDO MBM (see earlier press release).

The security guards dragged him across the road twisting his arms, causing serious injury, and handcuffed him. The use of handcuffs by private employees is strictly controlled and was unlawful.
The police arrived and, after allegations by the security guards, Mr Sacca was arrested for ‘Breach of a civil injunction’ and ‘Actual bodily harm’. Mr Sacca was remanded in Lewes Prison where he remained for over a week before being granted bail.

The charges against Mr Sacca were dropped after court proceedings threatened to uncover collusion between EDO MBM and Sussex Police to quash protest at the factory (see previous Smash EDO Press Releases 1 2).

During the High Court proceedings last year EDO MBM were forced to disclose their security video tapes to the defendants. The relevant parts of the tapes that would have shown the assault on Mr Sacca were inexplicably blank at the time of the assault.

Mr Sacca requested that Sussex police mount a criminal investigation of assault against the security guards. Police recently responded claiming that there was no basis for the investigation.

Sarah Johnson, spokeswoman for Smash EDO said ‘Sussex police’s refusal to investigate this serious assault is another example of the biased political policing that has characterised the polices’ attempts to stifle protest at the factory. We will not stop until we have uncovered Sussex Police’s unhealthy relationship with EDO’

Andrew Beckett, press spokesman, said ‘Mr Sacca was seriously assaulted, then arrested on spurious charges and imprisoned. This was an attempt to scare people away from protests at EDO MBM. It is of paramount importance that we see justice for Mr Sacca’.

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