Were we held at airport because we are Muslims?

A Muslim couple are threatening to take action against the police after they were held by Special Branch detectives at Cardiff Airport – missing their flight as their luggage and identities were checked. Aisha Pritchard and her Palestinian husband Sadi Eihaloul claim their detention was racist and are now considering bringing a test case against South Wales Police.

The couple, from Pentwyn, Cardiff, were due to fly to Dubai via Amsterdam for a four-day break on December 14 but they never made the trip after being stopped by security at the boarding gate. Ms Pritchard, 40, said: “We understand that there have to be security measures at all airports. It is the way we were treated we cannot accept. We feel we were deliberately stopped from boarding the plane, that it was racist and because we are Muslims.”

By the time they had been given the all-clear by the detectives, the couple’s flight had already left. And because their tickets were non-transferable, they were faced with having to pay out £1,500 if they wanted the next flight. Instead, they caught a taxi home.

Wales Online, 28 December 2006

See also the Independent, 29 December 2006