17 Jun 2008

42 days: shameful

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The Governments vote to extend the detention without charge time to 42 days is totally shameful. Even our current legislation allows suspects to be detained for up to 28 days - the longest time in Europe (see my previous blog here).

Above pic: Liberty's campaign - see more here

Worse still by focussing only on the 42 days we are in danger of overlooking other measures in the bill which are equally problematic, especially given the excessively broad definition of terrorism contained in the 2000 Terrorism Act.

"Anti-terror" powers are increasingly being used to incriminate innocent people and this bill will further exacerbate this. The Bill also proposes forms of punishment that may be imposed after conviction, without further due legal process and even on the basis of secret evidence withheld from defendants. In addition, the measures to allow no-jury inquests in the name of "national security" would seriously undermine police accountability.

Counter-terror powers are already more than sufficient and the counter-terrorism bill as it stands does more to endanger than to enhance public safety.

See a great Green blog entry on David Davis here - despite Davis' honourable views on 42 days there is much that we Greens find very hard to swallow....for example he voted:
  • For the death penalty;
  • Very strongly for the Iraq War;
  • Against equal rights for LGBT people;
  • Against the ban on hunting.
As the blog author, Aled Dilwyn Fisher writes: "Let’s be clear – Davis’s resignation has brought up a lot of issues, including the wider government agenda. But let’s not confuse the bringing up of issues with this being a move we should applaud."

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