Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Two Kurds Called Karim

Kalan Karim, an Iraqi Kurdish refugee who lost had his leg below the knee to a landmine, made the mistake of being in Swansea's binge-drink zone, Kingsway, in the early hours of the morning in September 2004. A drunken local attacked him without warning and he died the following day in hospital.

The police immediately pronounced the attack to be a racist murder. The attack was given wide publicity. A thousand people, including the Swansea Council leader and two Welsh Assembly members, marched through the town. The BBC devoted 17 stories to the case and the killing was reported on national TV and radio news.

A tattooed 27 year old underclass type was sentenced to five years for manslaughter. Given that you only actually do half the time, he'll be out in about 20 months.

On Friday 13th February 2004, another Kurdish asylum seeker, Ali Mohammed Karim, also an Iraqi Kurd, stabbed 21 year old Anthony Farrell to death in Glasgow.

The story never made BBC TV or radio news - or indeed any of the national papers. There were no marches or memorials. You have to piece together the story from scraps and Google's cache. Here's a one line report of the killing. Here's the cached list of cases for trial in which we see that Ali Mohammed Karim is charged with murder.

The BBC news website shows no result for a search on Anthony Farrell. But a search for Ali Karim returns one story - of the court conviction.

Ali Karim was a refugee and murderer who lived in the Sighthill district of Glasgow. The minimal publicity given to his case contrasts sharply with the case of another Sighthill resident, Firsat Dag, a refugee and murder victim.

I think there's some kind of a pattern here. I just can't quite see what it is.

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