Kara – Rt Hon ANN CLWYD MP

Press Release

4 December 2007

Ann Clwyd calls for justice over Sikh pupil

Ann Clwyd said:

“After considering all the circumstances, I believe that the Sikh girl currently excluded from Aberdare Girls? School, in my constituency, for wearing a steel bangle, should be allowed to return to school and to wear the bangle.

The Kara is a steel bangle that is one of the five physical items that every Sikh must wear as symbols of their faith.

Sarika Singh, aged 14, refused to take off her bangle worn by devout Sikhs as a symbol of her religion.

I have met Sarika and her mother at their home in the Cynon Valley. I have also spoken to governors at the school, a number of colleagues here at the House of Commons, and the civil liberties organisation Liberty. I am firmly of the view that the school, if it persists in its views, contravenes the Race Relations Act 1976, the Equality Act 2006, and the Human Rights Act 1998.

I urge the school and its governors to think again and to act in the interests of good race relations.

For further information please contact the Westminster Office of Ann Clwyd MP on 020 7219 6609.The UK and Wales is rightly proud of its traditions of religious tolerance and it saddens me that this can be undermined by excluding Sarika over such an easily resolved issue.”