RAM TO BE RELEASED

The Asian man, who bands including Asian Dub Foundation and Primal Scream claim was wrongly convicted of murder, is to be released...

SATPAL RAM, the Asian man who bands including PRIMAL SCREAM and ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION claim was wrongly convicted of murder, is to be released.

On November 16 1986, Ram was involved in an altercation with six white men outside a restaurant in Birmingham. After being attacked with a wine glass, Ram produced a penknife and one of his attackers was left with two wounds in his back. He later died, after refusing medical treatment.

Musicians and public figures have been heavily involved in the campaign to free Ram. They believe that he acted in self-defence, and should not have been convicted of murder.

However, according to a report in today’s The Guardian newspaper (June 15), the Home Office have confirmed he is to be released. It is understood his release could take place as early as next week as the result of a ruling from the European court.

Mr Ram’s lawyer, Danuel Guedalla, said: “It does not mean (the government) accept he is innocent and he is still challenging his wrongful conviction. This is a victory but not a complete vindication. He is still on a life licence until is conviction is quashed.”

Ram’s cause has been heavily promoted by Primal Scream, and in particular ADF. Their single, ‘Free Satpal Ram’, was based on his imprisonment, and they have organised and spoken at many events aimed at raising the profile of his case.

On one such event outside the Home Office last May, Primal Scream singer Bobby Gillespie spoke to NME.COM about Ram. He said: “I think (Satpal) was a victim of a racist attack, killed a man in self-defence. I think it’s a miscarriage of justice…enough is enough, it’s time to set the man free. Are they gonna kill him? Is that what it’s going to take to get Satpal Ram out of prison? Are they gonna kill him and put him in a fucking coffin? We want to get him out free and alive.

“It’s a racial issue, but ultimately it’s a human issue. It doesn’t matter what colour skin you are. If it was a white guy I’d be here. I think he’s an innocent man. If you were attacked by six people you would defend yourself. That’s what he did.”