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Man strip-searched and held for 24 hours over friend’s ‘joke text’ about sabotaging a train

Claire Ellicott
UK Daily Mail [1]
Monday, May 4, 2009

An innocent man was strip-searched and held in a cell for 24 hours after receiving a joke text message from a friend about sabotaging a train.

The 29-year-old was arrested after his mobile phone provider passed on details of the message to police – who accused him of not reporting a crime.

The case, which happened in France, provoked widespread outrage about the ‘sinister’ march of the Big Brother state there.

(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)

[2]

The man, referred to only by his first name of Stephane, received a message saying ‘Do you know how to de-rail a train?’ last month in Abbeville, in the Somme region.

The woodworker thought nothing of the text but hours later he was arrested.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Detectives said his mobile provider had passed on details of the message. They claimed Stephane should have called the police as soon as he received the text.

Stephane said: ‘I was strip-searched and forced to hand over the name of my colleague who had sent the message.

‘Then the court gave an order that I could be held for up to 24 hours. It was a real shock. In two seconds I felt I had become a vulgar criminal.

‘I was held in a prison cell which smelled of urine. I felt I was being treated like a dog.’

Full article here [1]