Muslims claim police bias

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The Independent Online

A Muslim couple who missed a flight out of Britain after being detained under terrorism laws said yesterday they plan to take legal action against the police.

Aisha Pritchard and her husband, Sadi Elhaloul, a Palestinian, were trying to board their flight from Cardiff International Airport to Dubai on 14 December. The couple claim officers from South Wales Police questioned them for around 20 minutes and then decided to remove their luggage and search it.

They agreed, but say that when they were released they were told their plane had departed and, as their tickets with the KLM airline were not transferable, they would have to pay £1,500 to take the next flight.

Ms Pritchard said they had passed through securitywithout issue and were only stopped as they neared the boarding gate. They have received no apology and Ms Pritchard said she believed her husband's nationality and race were the sole reason they were held.

South Wales Police would only confirm the couple were detained under the Terrorism Act 2000. The human rights group Liberty is representing the couple and is investigating the possibility of legal action against the police.