Vigil held as Longsight family faces eviction threat

Article published: Thursday, October 20th 2011

Fears of “collective punishment” have been raised following threats by the Crown Prosecution Service to evict the family of Munir Farooqi, a man recently convicted on terrorism charges, from their home. 

Local residents and campaigners held a peaceful vigil outside Longsight police station on Tuesday evening in support of the family, who now face having their home seized under the Terrorist Act. Munir Farooqi was convicted alongside two other men and given four life sentences in September when he was found guilty of attempting to recruit two undercover officers to fight in Afghanistan. He is currently appealing his conviction.

The CPS has justified the eviction of his family “on the basis that the property was used for the purposes of terrorism”, although the notice of application for the forfeiture order does not specify in which way. None of the family, which includes two young children, has been found guilty of any related offence and it is believed to be the first time authorities have attempted to utilise anti-terror legislation in this manner.

The eviction would leave the family of seven homeless, and supporters of the “Save the Family Home” campaign say they have gathered over 3,000 signatures from local mosques, churches and workplaces protesting the seizure of the property. Zulaika Farooqi, Munir’s daughter, praised the “excellent response from the diverse community, not just the Muslim community.”

Reverend Gary Serra di Migni, a local Baptist minister, said: “You cannot take a home away from innocent people. Munir Farooqi’s name isn’t even on the title deeds, they belong to his wife. And the community is saying that this is an injustice. It just can’t be done, and if it happens it’s wrong.” He added, “This isn’t a Muslim thing, it’s not an Asian thing, it’s not a faith thing, the whole community is saying this is not right.”

Munir’s son Harris Farooqi, who was acquitted of a charge of preparing for an act of terrorism, was emotional as he explained the feelings of the family. “It’s a family house. Why is it collective punishment in a democratic society? I don’t understand,” he said, drawing parallels with similar threats to evict the families of individuals convicted of taking part in August’s riots from social housing. “We as British citizens work here all our lives and then we’re thrown out onto the streets.”

He also expressed alarm at what he saw as a lack of communication from the authorities, and in a prior statement said: “I have been through hell for the past two years. I cannot believe what the police are doing to me and my family…This has been our family home for years and I feel so sad that my mother and family have to go through this nightmare. We just want to live in peace and want the CPS to reconsider its application for the forfeiture of our home.”

The vigil was held as local Imams took part in a Masjid Forum discussion with police, although a Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said the meeting was a regularly held event with Muslim faith leaders and was not arranged specifically to discuss the campaign.

Chief Superintendent Stuart Barton said: “We are aware that some members of our community are concerned at plans to realise the assets of Munir Farooqi following his conviction, in particular the seizure of his former home on Victoria Terrace.

“I want to stress that any applications are at a very early stage. Any decision will only be taken after the correct and proper legal procedures are followed through the judicial process.

“Links with our community have never been stronger so I want to stress that as always we will listen to views and take them on board. It is important for me that the community fully understands the reasons behind any decisions that have been made and as a result we will be holding further meetings with community members.

“Whilst some members of the public may see the need to challenge the decisions that have been made, I would ask that this is done in a peaceful manner without any community disruption.”

Richard Goulding

More: Manchester, News, Policing


  1. I’m all in favour of publically owned homes being taken away from the relatives of convicted terrorists.

    As for leaving a family of seven homeless I can’t see a problem.

    I’d be homeless if I hadn’t bought myself a house. I suggest these seven people do the same.

    There are plenty of houses for sale at estate agents.

    Comment by simon on October 21, 2011 at 10:44 pm
  2. The house is owned by the family, hence Munir Farooqi’s wife holding the title deeds.

    Comment by richard on October 21, 2011 at 11:36 pm
  3. This is an act of collective punishment against 5 innocent family members, which includes two young children and Harris Farooqi, found innocent of all charges in court. There is a public meeting of the campaign on Monday 31 October, 7.30pm, Eastern Pearl, Plymouth Grove, Longsight. There are lots of issues raised by this case!

    Comment by Bob on October 25, 2011 at 12:18 am
  4. just watched the local news on this story, seems to me everyone in that house were well aware of the activities that went on, i think this is a excellent way to put message across to terrorist, being a muslim myself i can vouch there is nothing more painful in life than having assets taken from you, take my wife… my children.. even my god.. but dont take my Money! if the rest of family members feel hard done by… there are lots of five bedroom caves in afghanistan.

    Comment by majhid farooq on November 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm
  5. […] a peaceful vigil outside Longsight police station on 18 October and coverage of the case in the Manchester Mule the campaign held a packed public meeting on 31 October and the ‘Save the Family Home‘ […]

    Pingback by ‘British Justice’ : Forcing Infants & Children Into Homeless for Others’ Crimes « aseerun on November 15, 2011 at 9:42 pm

The comments are closed.