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Consular news – Embassy 47

Stay safe, Muslim consuls warn nationals

Consuls from Islamic countries are advising their nationals to exercise caution in parts of London as a result of anti-Muslim reprisals that followed the attack on Drummer Lee Rigby outside Woolwich Barracks.

Following the incident, the Embassy of Saudi Arabia issued a directive urging its citizens to avoid “suspicious places and gatherings” and not to respond to provocation.

Other consulates from Muslim countries have had reports of nationals being intimidated, especially women wearing headscarves.

According to the Diplomatic Protection Group, officers are working closely with all communities in the Woolwich area and throughout London and Neighbourhood policing teams continue to engage with the public.

“Our message to people is to remain calm and show restraint while this investigation is carried out,” said Inspector Tracy Jarvis.

While there have been no incidents of intimidation of Muslim diplomats, some envoys told Embassy that they had felt vulnerable and worried that their families may be targeted in the streets for speaking Arabic.

The DPG said there was no information to suggest any increased threat to the Diplomatic Community. However they have urged any diplomats who have experienced any adverse reactions as a result of this event to contact the DPG.

“If you have any concerns for security or safety at any of your diplomatic premises, or for you or your staff, please contact your Liaison Inspector in the Diplomatic Protection Group,” said Inspector Jarvis.

Details can be obtained via the Secure Bulletin Board which is found at https://dpgforum.met.police.uk/ or diplomats can email DPG at diplomatic.protection@met.police.uk.

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