Tensions rise after claims Afghan shopkeeper beat black boy

Press - DSCF2335TENSION HAS skyrocketed in a section of Peckham in south London following claims a black youth was beaten by Afghan shopkeepers.

Angry protestors took to the streets to vent their fury last Saturday (September 22), the latest in a series of protests opposite Khan’s Mobile Accessories shop in Peckham Rye Lane, southeast London.

Organisers also told The Voice they plan to have another demonstration this Saturday (September 29).

The series of protests began in early September after witnesses claim they saw the 20-year-old university student being chased and attacked by a large group of Afghan men after going into the shop.

The young man did not want to be identified but his angry mother, Charmaine, told The Voice he was attacked at Khan’s Mobile Accessories shop when he tried to return a faulty Blackberry PlayBook he bought on August 24 for £140.

She said shopkeepers agreed to pay for the faulty PlayBook but gave her a partial installment only.

“They later agreed to pay. They paid [me] £70 and asked him to return for the rest later. When he returned for the rest of the money [on September 5], they refused to give it,” she added.

Charmaine, 50, claimed shop owner, Zahr Khan, 38, instead told her son the shop had purchased the playbook for the £70 they had already given, which was half of the PlayBook’s price.

The mother-of-two, who has lived in Peckham for 32 years, alleged: “An argument ensued between them. The manager then threw tea at my son and told him to leave the shop. Eyewitnesses saw at least 20 people chase him across the road and try to hit him.

“He was chased by over 20 Afghan men. He was chased all the way to Peckham Rye station where he had to get on a train to escape,” she said.

Jacqui Fergus, who witnessed the chase, later set a protest group, which has been demonstrating every Saturday.

This is not the first time shopkeepers have beaten someone, she reported.

“Others have been beaten when they try to return faulty goods,” alleged Jacqui Fergus, founder of the Reel Ashanti Justice Centre in Peckham.

She said she plans to continue the protest until CCTV cameras are installed around the shops.

“Enough is enough. They have no respect for us but they want to take our money.”

However, the shop owner has disputed the claims.

Khan told The Voice he did not throw tea at the young man.

He said he and other shopkeepers have never beaten anyone but simply keep a record of disputes and report them to the police.

He claimed “the boy beat me up instead. He stabbed me with a knife and put his finger in my eye.”

Charmaine has hit back at these claims, calling them “untrue”. She said: “photographic evidence and eyewitness accounts back my son’s story”.

Southwark police confirmed officers did go to the shop around 4.30pm on September 5 and are investigating claims from both the shopkeeper and the 20-year-old.

A police spokesperson said: “It is alleged that a 38-year-old man and a 20-year-old man were both assaulted but neither have made a formal allegation to police. No arrests have been made.”

In the meantime, local councillors and police say they have been trying to calm the situation.

Councillor Dora Dixon-Fyle, cabinet member for children’s services at Southwark Council, appealed for calm, adding “we do not achieve anything by violence”.

Chief Inspector Rob Harper from Southwark Safer Neighbourhood, added: “We have been in contact with both parties to try and resolve this matter and prevent it from affecting the wider community in Rye Lane.

“Our investigations are ongoing at this stage.”


Source:  The Voice







                                                                                            RYE LANE CAMPAIGN 2012

We as local African customers are sick to death of shops and retail premises treating ‘Us’ as criminals, especially those owned by other social groups by:

o Committing assaults upon ‘US’ as African people… particularly the men in ‘Our’ community… Then having retailers work with the Police by lying, and making false statements to criminalize or ban ‘US’ from the premises after such harassment or assaults.

o Threatening with weapons African customers who complain about bad treatment , or short changing, or short measures.

o Making sexual advances and sexual innuendos to African women as CUSTOMERS!

o Banging or literally throwing change at African CUSTOMERS!

o Short-changing African customers… Thinking that ‘WE’ are unintelligent, therefore unable to workout what the correct change should be.

o £20 Note scam – Cheating African customers when given a £20 note, and arguing that it was a £10 offered to them. Always make sure, you say, this is a £20 note whenever handing over a £20, or mark your £20 notes, so that the police can be called, to verify the make on a not in the till…

o Giving or making ‘short-measures’ for African customers.

o Grabbing money from African CUSTOMERS hands.

o Giving funny looks or showing reluctance to print till receipts or worst refusing to give receipts even after three or four kind polite request.

Given all these long-going, long-standing issues and ill-treatment by retailers made worst; in an area like Rye Lane, where so many African people spend so much money only to be treated as second-class customers, and worse, being assaulted by staff or the owners of shops, who then try to work with the prejudiced institutionally racist police to criminalize ‘US’, as just CUSTOMERS and PATRONS of these retail outlet… We’ve simply had enough!

If you have information about the assault or saw the young boy being chased into Rye Lane station, about 4.45pm Wednesday 5th September, or any information you fee may be useful…


If you or your organization or one you know of should like to help or get involved with the Rye Lane Campaign please contact one of the existing organisers to add your name and clout to the cause…


We would like to thank:

Galaxy FM 102.5

Lightning FM 90.8

Genesis FM 91.6


Businesses in and around Peckham Rye Lane



Victory Store                    

82-84 Peckham Hill Street


Pollard Curtains, Bedding, Towels, Blinds Lace etc                            

171 Rye Lane


New Pollard UK Household Goods, www.newpollard.com      

0207 277 5578


Cafe God Bless

Unit 2 Choumert Road


Dennis’s Butchers

135 Peckham Hill Street    0207 635 7020


Mini Cab

0207 277 7244


Gabby’s Take Away

165 Rye Lane      0207 732 2030


Western Union Bilex cargo Express


Gisella Fashion

0207 277 3253


Celebration Gifts Shop

Harte’s Irish Meat Market (nxt door to Primark)

0207 639 3095


United Meat (Halal), nr Burger King


Kumasi Market & Travel Centre

0207 639 3851



J&T Foods (Fish and Seafood) 7c Choumert Rd

0207 635 7596

Orits Cosmetics Hair and Body Shop


Kroo Town, 5 Choumert Road



Helping Nature Salon, 84a Rye Lane

07535810391 / 07960682369





Have you been a victim of unlawful treatment or trading in Rye Lane?

Have you witnessed   any assaults on the members of the Community in Rye Lane by shop keepers and associates?

Are you aware of tensions between some shopkeepers and members in the community?

Are you aware of the safer neighbourhood scheme?


Report these crimes in confidence as follows and still remain anonymous:


EMAIL MD-BoroughLSNTheLaneWard@metpolice.uk

CALL police helpline on 020 8721-2769

CONTACT the Peckham Safer Neighbourhood team at Peckham Police Station or on : 020 8721 2728

CALL/EMAIL talk show hosts on Community Radio Stations – Galaxy [102.5], Genesis [91.6], Lightening [90.8]

CALL/EMAIL Local/Community Press: Southwark News, The South London Press, The Voice Newspaper


If you are owed money for goods purchased in Rye Lane, contact or have concerns about Environmental Health: Contact

Jonathon Toy jonathon.toy@southwark.gov.uk

Head of Community Safety & Law Enforcement

Address: 3rd Floor Hub 2

PO BOX 64529

London SE1P 5LX

020 7525-1479



Rye Lane Customer helpline 020 7525 2750








 Ryle Lane Campaign:   9TH SEPTEMBER – 13TH OCTOBER





  • NETWORK …………………………………….


Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men. (Marcus Mosiah Garvey)







133 RYE LANE, SE15 5TH




                                                                                                 Topic:  The Way Forward for Rye Lane

Dear reader,


The Rye Lane Campaign Group (RLCG) consists of members of the community whose common interests are Community cohesion and a cleaner /safer Rye Lane.  The group was formed as a result of incidents which have been occurring on Rye Lane over a period of 6 years or more.

Jonathon Toy (Southwark Council) and Inspector Linda Upton (Peckham Safer Neighbourhood team) have responded to some of the concerns which the community has raised. However, RLCG is of the opinion that Rye Lane Traders Association’s  (RLTA) reluctance to fully engage with RLCG to  recognise the issues and find possible solutions has not been helpful.

  • RLTA declined   RLCG’s invitation to attend the public meetings on 5th December 2012 & the next meeting on 6th February 2013, as well as the pre-meeting (in preparation for 4th public meeting) on 31st January 2013.

The RLCG still wishes to collaborate with all parties so that the interests of the Peckham Community are served. RLCG is therefore extending this invitation to the 4th public meeting.

  • Day: 6th February 2013
  • Time: 18:30 – 21:00



Further details can be found on RLCG’s Facebook page.


We look forward to seeing you there.


Yours Faithfully


Rye Lane Campaign Group (RLCG)



  1. The awaken on , says

    I have been listening to this tension mounting argument for the last 2 weeks, and to be truthfull it has made my blood boil to know that a 20 year old student is being chased through peckham with around 15-20 Afghan men (Cowards/A/H’s) behind him, and what. Not one person came to his aid. People talk about Peckham this, Peckham that. That what. You think that could happen in Catford Or lewisham. As i’am writing this from work, my blood is starting to boil. It wasn’t these s*#t Holes that got this student beaten up. it was you, the public, you stood and watched. We/you are as guilty as they are. I’am VEX. These demonstrations that are being held outside these Khan’s and chins place of business’s. I know some of you bruvers and sista’s are kissing these shopkeepers arse’s just for a little discount on a rubbish phone. You keep kissing their ares’s and sooner or later the S*#t ‘s going to hit your fan and choke you. I’am sorry i had to use this but i have not tollerence for traitors. You got something to say. Bring it.

    There is no peace here untill we rise up.

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  2. JennyRobinson on , says

    What’s happening in Peckham now (Demonstration) is long over due, most of these shopkeepers are rip off merchants and racist beyond your imargination. The council and Trading Standards are aware of the unlawful trading, which is occurring on a daily basis. This man Khan, he is classed as the “GODFATHER”. Yes, he is the head of his syndicate, some call it, “The Peckham Mafia”. Due to Khan’s wealth, he believes he is untouchable, and to some extent he is, as he has many people on his payroll. These protesters are brave and courageous!! More people should join in and make their voices heard.

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  3. JennyRobinson on , says

    There is another demonstration on Rye Land today 29.09.12 from 12.30pm untill 6.30pm.

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  4. JennyRobinson on , says


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  5. Rita Brown on , says

    I absolutely support the demonstration and believe it is long overdue and should be stepped up until the shops are closed down. These shopkeepers should be driven out of our community because they are robbers just smashing and grabbing but not giving anything back, except for hate.

    The demonstrators are brave and I am happy to join them but we need more. We also should remember this affects all members of the black community, so whatever our differences and petty squabbles with each other put it aside and come together for a common cause. I am sad to hear there is a split in the group, hope this is not true because there is not time for infighting. Remember who our enemy is and it should not be us..

    So good to see the Nation of Islam there offering their much needed support, reminding us that: “You touch one, you touch all.””

    Let’s close these shops down and put the money in our own pockets by opening and supporting our own businesses. ONE LOVE.

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  6. The Truth is Like That on , says

    It was nice to see how the Nation of Islam came out in full force on one of the protest. The experience was encouraging.
    These kinds of unacceptable behaviours that are being displayed by people selling us things in our communities need to be curbed.

    We need to be supplying food stuffs, hair accessories and beauty products etc, for ourselves and providing jobs within and around our communities so that we can watch it develop and grow, this way we encourage our young that they have a future in their very own communities which does not necessarily have to be hostile.

    We as a community on a whole really do need to start taking a look at the models that Marcus Garvey used and left for us, in order to have direction, because if we were indeed organised, liberties such as the ones taken could never have occurred, since Marcus advised us to be self reliant. There is also an American model that we can look at, dating back to 1921 in a place called; Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma where you had Black Wall Street an independent community which was totally self reliant, so there really are NO excuses to NOT do for self. Even If we are divided there has to be some common ground that we can all stand on, simply because of the fact that unity is strength and in numbers there is strength also…

    So lets do for self

    One Perfect Love

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    • Editor on , says

      Yes, but instead of platitudes, lets look at permanent solutions…..look what happened to this Greenwood Tulsa Oklahoma project……it no longer exists and the black communities there are worse off today than they were in 1921. This is the vital part you’ve missed out. Is that what you want for the community of Peckham and others in the UK?

      Yes, the community managed to mobilize its resources and rebuilt the Greenwood area within five years of the Tulsa Race Riot and the neighborhood was a hotbed of jazz and blues in the 1920s. However, the neighborhood fell prey to an economic and population drain in the 1960s, and much of the area was leveled during urban renewal in the early 1970s to make way for a highway loop around the downtown district.

      So, as you can see, you need to do your research first before it becomes a case of ‘the blind leading the blind’.

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  7. Jah Blak on , says

    Greeting Family, friend and supporters, yes it is full time we make a stand in our community against this racial profiling and ignorance shown toward people of African descent. We have had a continued history of fighting for the rights of ourselves and in doing so fighting for the rights of others. It seems that the world views us African / African Caribbean people as less than human. The subtle disparagement displayed through the false humour and the lack of real interaction in the community has left us with the bitter taste of being usurped right in front of our eyes.
    The lack of police intervention in a fair and unbiased approach coupled with racial profiling which sits right in the arena of the prejudice, has given those who also violate the human rights of African and African Caribbean and other peoples a wall of grace and the opportunity to act with impunity.
    Family we should protest and make all aware as Rosa Parks did, that this injustice and continued raping of our dignity has to end and the only one who can put a real stop to this is us, how? Simple, hit them in the pocket by spending our hard earned cash with our own business and services.
    In doing so we can be sure that some of that money is retained among the African and African Caribbean community. If this is a wakeup call not only in allowing us to truly see how these business view us and value us as customers but to open our eyes in realising the importance in African and African Caribbean Commerce and how just like with the enslavement trade which funded the industrial revolution how today we fund others in building their empires and funding other to seek higher and further education.
    Family we have the moral ground right now and we must maintain that ground for our children’s, children’s sake at home and abroad. Some would like to akin this issue to youth crime and young black boys not having adequate role model in their lives either your missing the point as its adults being abused by adults who are accustomed to treating young people with no respect and violence. What signal is being put out there, when young people walk along Peckham Rye Lane or Through Brixton market filled with business providing the basic necessities and services and hardly any are run or owned by people of their own culture or race. Who’s preventing the landscape or town planning from reflect the local African or African Caribbean Business Woman or Man, giving young people role model in their community outside of sports, music, entertainment and fashion.
    Why has Dennis Butchers being moved from the main throng of shopping activity along the Peckham Rye Lane to a less attractive spot on the Peckham Road. Why is it the people who run businesses in the area where there is a predominate community of African and African Caribbean people, do not live or come from the community or give employment to local people. It’s a blatant lie that African or African Caribbean people do not have the acumen in running a business, it would seem to me that that self fore-filling prophecy suite only those wishing to keep the continued undermining of the African and African Community at home and abroad.
    So we need to protest and call for a Boycott not only for the integrity of our mothers, fathers, sister and brothers but also to bring to the fore ground the importance of serving ourselves within our community. So yes we call for a Boycott and yes we have an alternative to go to and that’s the Afiwe Afrikan Market which will be taking Place on
    Saturday 20th October 2012 and every Saturday thereafter
    at 86 Elim House Bellenden Road Peckham SE1 5 4RQ.
    Time 12pm till 7pm.
    for more information contact: Sheila 07424735603
    None But Ourselves Can Feed Our Kind

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  8. Aneita Robinson on , says

    Unite and fight this disease!! We need to keep our presence felt. More strength, to those on the battlefront, you represent those of us that would like to be there!!

    Keep the fire burning!!

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  9. I worked in Peckham between 2003 – 2011 and noticed the changes a long time ago. Back in 2003 the majority of businesses on the main road was African owned, now there’s only food, hair and nail shops which are all directed at Black people. This shows what they think of us and as previously stated they do not put anything back into the community that feeds them.
    We as African people feed everyone else but ourselves. All races sell back to us our own products from home. Until we recognise our worth no one else will! All other races need us not the other way around. Spend your money with respect gaining respect because all businessed need black people.
    Recognise your worth….peace & love

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  10. Baruch Solomon on , says

    I don’t want to minimise or trivialise any incident of violence or racism against Black people. Neverthless, I feel I must object to, the article/statement/set of demands above entitled “Blackpound Retail Boycott”. .

    It is implied therein that Asians shopkeepers in Peckham are in the habit of urinating on meat or meat preparation fluids. Do you have any basis for making such an allegation other than rumor or hearsay?

    If there is evidence that such practices are going on, then the author should state clearly what this evidence is and which retailer/retailers they believe to be guilty of this.

    I cannot believe that any retailer, however sick or racist they may be; would urinate on products intended for human consumption since had they done so, the offense would be easy to prove and the retailer would face almost certain closure.

    To try to convey the impression that people of any ethnic group urinate on meat intended for sale without providing any evidence in support of this belief is racism, pure and simple and should not go unchallenged on this or any other forum.

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    • Editor on , says

      Thank you Baruch for contacting ZeroNation. The comments you’ve made are indeed taken seriously by the team and as a result of that, we have contacted the Rye Lane Campaign Group with regards to the issues raised in your comments, in particular, the ‘urinating on foods’ aspect. It it is indeed unfounded and without firm basis which is why we at ZeroNation have made the decision to erase that section from the main article.

      At ZeroNation, it is our aim to ‘Name and Shame’ bad practices but it is also important for us to be able to properly defend our reasons for ‘Naming and Shaming’.

      Once again Baruch, thank you for highlighting this and we hope you continue to patronize ZeroNation with your valid comments.

      You may also like to visit http://www.heronation.co.uk and the recently launched http://www.dissnation.com.

      Kind regards.

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  11. Baruch Solomon on , says

    Thank you for upholding my concerns

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  12. machiel on , says

    ive been shopping from Khans for more than 10 years now and they are great and wonderful people, lots of times i see young guys bothering them but they have good patients… well done to them for what they do for peckham and for how they get along with customers.

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