Ethnic minorities ‘singled’ out under Schedule 7 of the 2000 Terrorism Act? – Glasgow Airport to hold Open Day

(CC) Image: ensee_89/Flickr

Newly elected Glasgow MSP Humza Yousaf has initiated discussions with airport authorities over concerns raised that some ethnic minorities might be singled out for questioning by security staff at the airport.

Mr Yousaf said:

“During the election campaign, a number of folk raised it with me. People have been stopped four or five times and asked really awkward questions like: How many times a day do you pray?; What mosque do you go to?; or Does your wife wear a headscarf?.”

“There was a report in The Guardian (newspaper) that said that people from ethnic minorities are 42 times more likely to be stopped under Schedule 7 [of the 2000 Terrorism Act] in UK airports.”

“From speaking to people, the situation seems to be a lot worse in Glasgow than anywhere else, to the point where some people are travelling to Manchester or London to take a flight instead.

“I spoke to one individual who has lived here for 35 years and is well integrated in the community, who has been stopped several times and now takes the train to Manchester whenever he wants to fly.”

Glasgow Airport has now agreed on inviting ethnic minority representatives to an Open Day later this month (June 2011) to hear about these issues.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and Tayside Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Colin McCashey, Scotland`s head of counter-terrorism, will attend the meeting.

Humza Yousaf has furthermore asked the Scottish Government for an ethnic breakdown of people questioned under the Terrorism Act at Scottish airports and invites members of the public to contact him about “bad experiences” .


Read more (click on links below):

The Guardian: Airport security checks: More offensive to some than to others

STV: Ethnic minority representatives invited to airport security open day

Herald Scotland: Airport open day for minorities