Monday, 11 April 2011
The British National Party’s official response to the politically motivated arrests of our Welsh Assembly candidates Sion Owens and Joanne Shannon.

Muslim fanatics who burn poppies in front of crowds including many ex-servicemen on Remembrance Day get fined £50, but a British patriot who protests against Muslim intolerance and the Islamist murder of nearly 3,000 innocent people in the Twin Towers on 9/11 has his home raided by ten plainclothed police officers and is thrown into the cells over a whole weekend.

Meanwhile, his accident-disabled partner is also arrested and held overnight, without blankets or access to her prescription medication, in a cold and filthy cell with excrement smeared on the walls.

“This is the typical ‘one-law-for-them and one-law-for-rest-of-us’ bias by the authorities that makes decent people so angry,” Nick Griffin commented when told of the over-the-top arrest of Sion Owens.

“I’m not as a rule in favour of burning the Koran. I think it’s better that people read it and confirm for themselves just how full of hate against Christians, Jews and other ‘Unbelievers’ it is. It’s not really a religious book at all: it’s a mediaeval instruction manual for conquering other peoples’ countries.

“But for someone who, apparently unnoticed, allegedly burns some pieces of paper in his own back garden to be arrested by ten police officers (on overtime) more than six months after the event, but just four days after being announced as a candidate for the British National Party, is a disgraceful piece of political interference by the police.”

A well-known and hard-working party activist, Sion Owens is third on the top-up list in the Wales South West Assembly region. On top of the obvious attempt to cause problems for the party in the run-up to the election, the police are clearly also motivated by the fact that he was one of five British National Party campaigners to receive a substantial out-of-court settlement from Swansea police last year after being arrested and falsely imprisoned for distributing leaflets in 2006.

Sion lives with, and is the full-time legally registered carer for, his partner Joanne Shannon, who has been registered disabled since a car accident in which her spine was broken in two places. Whilst she tries to lead as normal a life as possible, her injuries mean that she now has mobility difficulties, experiences great discomfort and regularly needs to take strong painkillers prescribed by her doctor to alleviate pain.

On Friday evening, they had both turned in for the night when at about 10 p.m. they were disturbed by pounding on their front door with such force as to cause them to believe the door was about to be smashed off its hinges.

It was dark, and looking out of the bedroom window, they could just make out a crowd of people at their front door.

When Joanne opened the door, up to ten plainclothes policemen, who had arrived in unmarked police cars, entered the house, saying they had a warrant. They immediately arrested Mr. Owens.

Whilst the police ransacked her home, seizing computers, mobile phones, private papers and personal belongings, Joanne was kept in an upstairs bedroom with a plainclothes woman police officer.

Later, the woman police officer asked Joanne if she “shared the same political beliefs” as Sion, to which Joanne answered yes and said that she is standing as a candidate for the party in Swansea East in the forthcoming election. At this point her mobile phone was taken off her and Joanne was arrested too and told she was being taken to Swansea police station.

When Joanne explained that arrangements needed to be made for her puppy, who would have been left locked inside the house indefinitely, she was told not to worry, as she would be back home first thing in the morning. It was also because of this reassurance that Joanne left her painkillers at home, as she expected to be home soon. She also explained to the police about her disability and asked how she would be able to get home afterwards, only to be reassured that the police would bring her home safely.

Joanne was taken to Swansea police station where she had her photo, fingerprints and DNA taken. Although she explained that she had difficulties with her injuries, she was locked up overnight in a bare cell without a blanket or any medication. The cell itself was in a disgusting, filthy state with faeces detritus on the wall and ceiling. Despite asking the police to inform someone of their arrest and detention, this was not done.

The next day, after repeated requests for her painkillers, she was eventually given two paracetamols.

It was at around 2 p.m. on Saturday before she was finally questioned by police officers. Just before the interview, the duty solicitor told her that “All the bigwigs are upstairs, and they’re out to hang him.”

Joanne was shown a short film clip of the alleged “book burning in the garden” incident and was then asked leading questions about the British National Party, to which she replied “no comment”.

She was then taken back to the cells and kept even longer, finally being released without charge at around 6 that evening. As she was leaving, the duty sergeant said to her that the whole story would be published in the Observer the following morning and that she should expect her name and address to be published too. He told her that she could probably expect attacks on her property as a result, so she should keep an eye out, and if she noticed anything unusual, she should just phone 999.

Meanwhile, she had been told that Sion was being kept in custody over the weekend and was being charged with “incitement to cause racial hatred” and would appear before Swansea magistrates first thing on Monday morning.

“The long delay between the alleged protest and police action is clear proof of the blatantly political nature of this piece of spiteful persecution,” Nick Griffin told our News Team. “As I’ve already said, the British National Party doesn’t favour burning any book, although if there is any repeat of last year’s Poppy burning insult and subsequent lack of police action, we may well review that position.

“But we do favour freedom of speech. And we see the need for resistance both to the intimidation terror tactics by Muslims to prevent criticism of their innately intolerant and violent religion, and to the Establishment appeasement of the Islamist threat, but that resistance needs to be political, peaceful and moral.”

“Based on the information we have at this time Sion Owens and Joanne Shannon remain candidates on our regional slates.”


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