Newcastle Councillor In Palestine Arrest Ordeal
A Newcastle councillor has told Heart he thought he was going to be killed after wrongly being arrested in Palestine.
Dipu Ahad, who represents the Elswick ward, was watching a peace protest in the village of Bil-in when he was chased and detained by the Israel Defense Forces.
He was part of a Newcastle City Council delegation in the region, which included fellow councillor David Stockdale and Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah.
Mr Ahad was handcuffed, hit with a gun, starved of water and blindfolded while being held by officers for 10 hours.
He told Heart: “You do fear for your life.”
“These guys are pointing guns at you, mocking you, and another emotion that came to my head is what if they shoot me and say I tried to escape.”
“They brought water towards my lips and withdrew it and started mocking me like that.”
“You wouldn’t treat an animal the way they treated me, they call themselves a democracy but there was clear discrimination there.”
“The other two Israelis who were arrested weren’t treated in that way, it was me because of my colour.”
Upon his release Mr Ahad was forced to sign forms, falsely stating he had been offered medical treatment.
He’s now home and reunited with his family in Newcastle, and admits he didn’t know if he’d ever see them again.
“My wife’s expecting twins in six weeks time and just seeing everyone together and my family, that alone makes me the happiest person I can ever be and makes me appreciate life a bit more as well.”