Chelsea Fan in Paris Racist Incident is a Leader of Human Rights Group!

Published: 23rd February 2015 05:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2015 05:47 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

LONDON: One of the fans of the English football club Chelsea involved in a racist incident in Paris ironically happens to be the director of an international human rights organisation, media reported Monday.

Richard Barklie, 50, a director with the human rights organisation, World Human Rights Forum, admitted that he was “involved in an incident when a person, now known as Soulemayne S, was unable to enter a part of the train”, according to a report in The Independent. 

However, he has denied any racist chanting and said that he wanted to explain the context of the incident to the police.

The incident, in which a group of supporters of the English football club prevented the black commuter from entering the train and sang racist songs, was filmed at the Richelieu-Drouot metro station in Paris ahead of Chelsea's Champions League match against French club Paris Saint-Germain Feb 17, and released to The Guardian.

Barklie, a Chelsea season ticket holder from Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland was one of the three men whose images were released by the Scotland Yard as part of an investigation into an incident.

Barklie was reported to be on the board of directors of the World Human Rights Forum, whose website claimed that the organisation was dedicated to promoting “human rights, values and global well-being”.

In a statement, Barklie's lawyers said that he wanted to put on record his “sincerest apologies for the trauma and stress suffered” by Souleymane S.

The statement added that the lawyers had contacted the London Metropolitan police to say that their client was happy to assist with the inquiries.

None of the men sought by the Scotland Yard have been arrested, as the force cannot detain people over alleged offences committed outside Britain. If brought to trial in France and found guilty, the suspects could face a three-year prison sentence and nearly $51,000 in fines.

Barklie is known to have taken part as a director for the World Human Rights Forum in a conference in India two years ago, where he quoted Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Junior as part of an ongoing battle against racial intolerance.

Five people have so far been suspended from Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium following the incident.

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