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This Press Release may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-07-05-2006-00.htm
Press Release: Sunday, 7 May 2006 24 Vaisaakh, Samvat 538 Nanakshai
London, United Kingdom: The British Police have been asked for a public assurance that Kirpan-wearing Sikhs will not be discriminated against as knife detectors are introduced at train stations. UNITED SIKHS highlighted their concern last week in letters to the Metropolitan Police, the British Transport Police, the West Midlands Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers. Under Operation Shield, knife detectors which have been used in London, Birmingham and Liverpool train stations since February, will eventually be used at all stations across the United Kingdom. To read the letter to Police click here.
Whilst the Sikh community recognises and supports the campaign to promote and establish a safe society, the letters urge the Police to treat Kirpan-wearers fairly and respectfully. In the UK, Sikhs have a legal right to wear the Kirpan (one of their five Sikh articles of faith) by key legislation such as Section 139 (5) (b) and (c) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, Article 13 of the Amsterdam Treaty, and Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the latter of which protects and allows individuals to practice and observe their chosen religion.
Kirpan-wearing Sikhs are requested to report their grievance and experience in dealing with the knife detectors by clicking here. UNITED SIKHS shall provide enforcement agencies with feedback from the community.
In the letter, UNITED SIKHS has also requested the police to provide further information regarding:
1. All the courses of action that will be taken to ensure that Kirpan-wearing Sikhs are not discriminated against;
2. The procedures and policies implemented by the Police in relation to the knife detection methods and how they will affect the wearing of the kirpan;
3. The awareness and training given to police officers regarding the Kirpan;
4. The guidance given to officers regarding searching Kirpan-wearing Sikhs.
UNITED SIKHS eagerly awaits for responses to the issues raised within the letter and is confident an amicable arrangement can be reached.
International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy
To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.
UNITED SIKHS is also an avenue for networking between like-minded organisations to establish and nurture meaningful projects and dialogues - whether social, cultural or political- to promote harmony, understanding and reciprocity in our villages, towns and cities.
UNITED SIKHS is a coalition of organisations and individuals, who share a common vision based on the belief that there is no greater endeavour than to serve, empower and uplift fellow beings. The core of our philosophy is an unwavering commitment to civic service and social progress on behalf of the common good.
Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.
We at UNITED SIKHS believe that the development of enlightened and progressive societies can be made possible by socially conscious groups of people who make a commitment to develop and direct human potential. Our work, efforts and achievements stand as a testament to our faith in this vision.