Leeds & West Yorkshire

Doncaster Airport police quiz bride over Syrian arts book

Faizah Shaheen Image copyright Faizah Shaheen
Image caption Faizah Shaheen was stopped at Doncaster Airport after being reported to police for reading a book on Syrian culture

A newly-wed was detained by airport police under terror laws after she was spotted reading a book on Syrian culture during her honeymoon flight.

Faizah Shaheen, from Leeds, was quizzed by officers at Doncaster Airport after being reported by Thomson Holidays cabin crew.

The 27-year-old said it had been a "hurtful and unpleasant" experience.

A Thomson Holidays spokeswoman said its staff are trained to report any concerns they have as a precaution.

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Ms Shaheen, a Muslim who works to prevent teenage mental health patients from becoming radicalised, said she had been reading the book - Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline - on the flight to Turkey.

She was stopped by police when she returned two weeks later on 25 July.

According to its publisher's website the book includes literature and photographs by artists and writers who are "challenging the culture of violence in Syria".

Image copyright PA
Image caption South Yorkshire Police said Ms Shaheen had been stopped and examined under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000

She said she that while she was "checked quite a lot because of who I am, my identity, my faith" she had felt "victimised" as a result of the incident and would be lodging a complaint with the airline.

"I'm aware that security is very important where terrorism is concerned but they need to keep a sense of proportion," she said.

"To go off and contact the anti-terror police is quite an extreme overreaction."

Image caption Thomson Holidays said its staff are trained to report any concerns they have as a precaution

A spokeswoman from Thomson Holidays said customer and employee safety was of "primary importance".

"We appreciate that in this instance Ms Shaheen may have felt that over caution had been exercised, however like all airlines, our crew are trained to report any concerns they may have as a precaution," she added.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police confirmed Mrs Shaheen had been "stopped and examined" under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

He said: "She was not arrested, she was held for fifteen minutes and was subsequently released."

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