From Stockwell to Brazil, supporters mark first anniversary of Menezes shooting

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The Independent Online

Campaigners led by the playwright Harold Pinter will today claim that the British justice system is being subverted by the "war on terror" as they mark the first anniversary of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.

From the platform of Stockwell Tube station, where the 27-year-old Brazilian was killed, to his home town of Gonzaga, relatives and supporters will gather at 10.04am today to mark the moment a year ago when Mr Menezes was shot seven times in the head by two anti-terrorism officers.

The memorial ceremonies will be accompanied by a public meeting in central London attended by prominent human rights activists, members of the Menezes family and Mohamed Abdul Kahar, who was shot in the chest by police during a raid in June on his home in Forest Gate, east London.

Pinter, who has been a passionate campaigner against the war in Iraq, said that the decision not to bring criminal charges against any police officer for the death of Mr Menezes showed that rules of common justice were not being applied to victims of botched police anti-terror operations.

He said: "Tony Blair often refers to this country as a civilised society in a fight against vile elements in the world. But this was the action of a police state. It was a police act that killed Mr Menezes. Responsibility goes a long way up."

He added: "We are in a very perilous and dangerous situation. We keep using words like freedom and democracy but act more and more in a totalitarian way. The same thing happened in Forest Gate - it was an act of state terrorism."

Mr Kahar, 23, who will attend the public meeting, said yesterday that he was still recovering nearly two months after the raid on his family home in which he and his brother were arrested on the basis of faulty intelligence.

Mr Kahar said: "I am still having flash backs. Never in my life have I heard of a raid this big being mounted on such a basis."