Untruths and inaccuracies generated within senior circles of Nottingham circulated and eventually were passed on, faithfully, to the Home Office. Take for example the Universities public claim that Sabir was arrested for interfering with police investigation [here and here]. The university claims that “it was the police’s views” that Sabir was impeding which is why he was arrested. This is not true. The police never said this to Sabir or the media.

Internal emails also reveal how senior management talked of “the steps the student [Sabir] took to impede the investigation”. This came to be presented to the Home Office and the Department of Business, Skills and Innovation [here] where it was asserted that Sabir attempted to “interfere with the process of the police removing the computer” [here]. What is clear is that this claim did not originate with the police. Sabir was actually arrested under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 for the ‘commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism’ after he was escorted to a nearby car park [here – page 3]. He fully cooperated with the police at all times.

The fabrication can be traced to an internal security report written by the head of Security, Gary Steven’s [here]. He later admits, in the presence of the Registrar, that the defamatory assertion was based on his own ‘impression’ [here – page 3]. No attempt has ever been made to rectify these statements.

Another incorrect public statement made by the University related to the al-Qaeda training manual found on Yezza’s computer. It was stated that the ‘more dangerous’ version of the manual was found on campus when compared to those found on Amazon. Again the Home Office was told an incredibly similar story: “it is important to note that the Training Manual found WAS NOT [sic] the version you can purchase on Amazon’ (original emphasis) [here]. BUT, the manual ‘found’ on Yezza’s computer [here] that Sabir sent was ‘exactly’ the same as the Amazon version [here]. In fact the complete, more detailed, ‘more dangerous’ version of the manual was available through the library[here]. Internal emails show how members of the Management Board were eager to break the ‘Amazon defense’ by publishing “specific information about the existence of different [al-Qaeda training] manuals” [here]. What should we take from all this information? Were they interested in the truth and well-being of the arrestees or protecting their brand?

The Vice Chancellor wrote in his Times Higher article that the university simply called the police after a ‘risk assessment’ [here] and claimed that ‘no judgment was made by us’ [here]. However, both Sabir and Yezza appeared to have been pre-judged, indeed, defamed. In an email sent from Professor Diane Birch, the only ‘law professor’ on the entire Management Board, to the her fellow board members continued to refer to Sabir and Yezza as “the suspects” after their release, even though they had been cleared from terrorism allegations [here;it should be noted that the mannual was 112 pages long not 1500 as claimed by Prof. Birch]. Prof. Birch also stated that Sabir’s sending of three academic documents to Yezza was “not at all covert, dishonest or likely to provoke suspicion. Disgraceful” [here]. All of these University distortions seeped into central government departments, helping to cement what Dr. Thornton calls an Orwellian lie (p.94): “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became truth. George Orwell“.

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