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Year 2005 No. 2, January 11, 2005 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

The Law Lords’ ruling on indefinite detention

The End of Internment?

Workers' Daily Internet Edition: Article Index :

The Law Lords’ ruling on indefinite detention
The End of Internment?

Terrorism, anti-terrorism and people's response:
The "War on Terror" as a "War on Freedom and Democracy"

Articles from The Independent by Robert Verkaik, Legal Affairs Correspondent
Revealed: flawed intelligence exposes the scandal of Belmarsh detainees

Tools for a Muslim Civil Rights Movement

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The Law Lords’ ruling on indefinite detention

The End of Internment?

Statement of Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), 23 December 2004

‘The real threat to the life of the nation… comes not from terrorism but from laws such as these.’

‘It calls into question the very existence of an ancient liberty of which this country has, until now, been very proud – freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention’

Law Lord Hoffman, 16 December 2004

‘If the Home Office does not either charge or release the detainees, a most serious constitutional crisis must result from the precedent of defiance thus created.’

Prof. John Rear, University of Northumbria


CAMPACC welcomes the Law Lords’ decision on "anti-terror" detention without trial. We feel vindicated by their ruling that internment is unacceptable and that the law permitting it must be changed.

This political and legal victory for justice resulted from a growing, persistent three-year campaign. Put in historical perspective, this campaign extends the long-standing struggle to gain and retain basic democratic rights, which have been periodically under threat from the state. The current campaign has featured close cooperation between CAMPACC, Liberty, Haldane Society, Institute of Race Relations, Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (CARF), Voices, Peace and Justice in East London and other human rights groups, NGOs, religious-based groups, lawyers including Gareth Peirce and Louise Christian, the Green Party, individual MPs and Lords, Stop the War Coalition, Respect and other Left groups as well as migrant and Muslim community groups, especially Stop Political Terror and The Muslim Parliament.

No "emergency"

It is a rare reward of successful political work to see the highest judges in the land, plus many journalists, echoing arguments which campaigners have made for years. In particular, Lord Hoffman stated that there is no "state of public emergency" – i.e., no sufficient rationale to justify the UK opt-out from Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which guarantees the right of habeas corpus. Moreover, he stated, "The real threat to the life of the nation… comes not from terrorism but from laws such as these."

The Law Lords considered that the government’s response went further than necessary and was "a disproportionate interference with liberty and equality". They argued that internment is unacceptable on principle, not because of their assessment of the government’s argument that the present detainees are "dangerous". In any case, the allegations against several detainees relate to their contacts with Algeria or Chechnya, rather than any threat of violence in Britain (The Observer, 19.12.04). All these developments weaken the government’s arguments for internment powers under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act (ATCSA) 2001.

Extra threats to justice

Despite the firm judgement of the Law Lords, there is not yet a substantive victory for the rule of law against internment, for several reasons:-

* The new Home Secretary has stated that the detainees will remain in jail until Parliament decides to end the internment powers. Constitutionally, the government is not required to implement the Law Lords’ judgement.

* If detainees are tried, there are still concerns about what trial procedure and rules may be used. Will they have a jury trial or will the government invent a form of non-jury trial ? (as suggested in the Newton Report). Will normal standards of proof be applied, or will lower standards be accepted? (as mooted earlier by Blunkett). Will courts accept evidence which has been, or may have been, obtained under torture? (as the Appeal Court decided was admissible in August 2004).

* If the law is modified to authorise electronic tagging or house arrest for suspected "terrorists", then it could be regarded as a less drastic measure and thus be more extensively used than internment without trial.

* Both the Law Lords and the Appeal Court have emphasised that the present detention powers discriminate against foreigners. The government may seek a more modest power in the hope that Parliament will accept its extension to British citizens (as proposed by the Newton Report).

For all human rights campaigners, the challenge over the next few months will be to press for a complete U-turn from the authoritarian, police state tendencies shown by New Labour over the past five years. First and foremost we want Parliament to refuse renewal of the internment powers in March, and to reject any compromise which threatens civil liberties whilst perhaps paying lip service to the Law Lords’ ruling.

As we said a long time ago, "A task of crime prevention has been turned into a fake emergency" (CAMPACC leaflet, February 2003, The "War on Terror" at Home: we are all targets of the state). Nevertheless the government has made claims for an emergency to justify its opt-out from the ECHR. Moreover, it has irresponsibly sought votes in this way, thus fuelling racism, Islamophobia and unjustified fears.

The present internment powers will remain in force unless Parliament changes or abolishes the law. Whatever police state powers are available now, or are passed in future, may be used much more extensively by some future government.

Other "anti-terror" powers

Even if internment powers are not renewed by Parliament in March, the overall "anti-terror" framework will still remain. The Terrorism Act 2000 more broadly redefined "terrorism" to encompass a wide range of ordinary political activities; the redefinition blurs any distinction between organized violence against civilians and anti-government protest. On that basis, the Terrorism Act 2000 established a new crime of "association" with banned organisations, and the list could be easily extended in future.

The ATCSA 2001 introduced many extra powers including internment. The draconian powers of stop-and-search have been used extensively and arbitrarily, though disproportionately against Asians and including (ironically) against peace protesters, by labelling them as "terrorist suspects". More recently, the 2003 US-EU Extradition Treaty facilitates the outsourcing of internment or unfair trials to other governments, by using the pretext of "terrorist" threats. Currently Babar Ahmad, a British citizen, is threatened with extradition to the USA. If the Civil Contingencies Bill becomes law, the government will have additional powers to detain people, prevent their movement and confiscate property in a declared "emergency". If any current "anti-terror" powers are modified or repealed, then such a new law could be used to similar effect.

To the Law Lords’ arguments we can add further points about the use of the current anti-terrorist powers in general.

* The ensemble of special powers has been used to terrorise Muslim and migrant communities, especially in the climate of Islamophobia which has followed the 9/11 Twin Towers attacks.

* These powers are specially targeted at people or organisations associated with resistance against oppressive regimes which are supported by the UK government. Such resistance is labelled "terrorism", while state terrorism generally is not. Racist persecution here complements political repression abroad. Thus these powers evade the real need for a just and democratic society, with a foreign policy to match.

* To the extent that there may be a violent threat to the public here, the best defence would be to overcome global injustice. On this rationale, Gordon Brown has advocated measures to remedy global poverty (Guardian, 18.12.04). More immediately, the UK government generates hatred by its role in the occupation and plunder of Iraq, as well as its support for Israel. A just peace in both Iraq and Palestine, with respect for migrant and Muslim communities in Britain, would contribute to our security – unlike police state powers, which threaten our security.

Future campaigns

Encouraged by the Law Lords’ ruling, CAMPACC will intensify its efforts to defeat the anti-terror laws and to deter their use. We have already planned the following activities:

* Support the meeting organised by Liberty "Guantanamo is Closer than You Think: Internment without trial after the Law Lords Ruling: 11th January, 6-8pm at the LSC, Hong Kong Theatre, WC2 Speakers Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty and Gareth Peirce e-mail: info@liberty-human-rights.org.uk

* To repeal internment powers and demand the release of all detainees: a protest at 6-8pm on Thursday 20th January opposite 10 Downing Street

* To oppose all the anti-terror powers: a lobby of MPs in their local constituencies on 11-12th March.

(See CAMPACC website for details in January.)

* Urge supporters and friends to write to their MPs and call on them to sign the Early Day Motion (EDM 426) proposed by Kevin McNamara MP http://edm.ais.co.uk/weblink/html/motion.html/ref=426

Release all detainees now!

Repeal the internment powers!

Repeal the anti-terrorism laws!

Article Index

Terrorism, anti-terrorism and people's response:

The "War on Terror" as a "War on Freedom and Democracy"

by Ben Hayes (Statewatch)

Peace and Security Cluster, 7 Sept. 2004 Asia-Europe People's Forum – Hanoi, Vietnam


This paper focuses on the security, rather than the military aspects of the "war on terrorism", and people's responses to them. This begins with a distinction between the war on "rogue states" – on which there are very different opinions among governments around the world – and the "war on terror" from a national security or law enforcement perspective – on which there is very little difference of opinion.

In fact, so similar have been domestic policy responses in liberal democracies to the inflated threat from international terrorism, that we can now recognise seven global themes – what we might call the "terrorising" of global security. Rights, freedoms and democracy, a true source of human security, are being restricted and undermined at a frightening pace.

i) The terrorisation of policing

Police are being given new powers to deal with terrorism, and the threat of terrorism. The problem is that these powers then seep into normal policing. In London, the entire city has officially been on "emergency" alert since 11 September 2001, giving all police powers extended powers to stop, search and detain people. During the widespread demonstrations and direct actions against the Iraq War, anti-terrorism legislation was used in public order situations and to detain activists. [There has also been a deliberate attempt by some in authority to equate protestors with terrorists.] In addition there are new investigative techniques, introduced to combat terrorism, then extended into normal policing, and a new role for the military in domestic policing.

ii) The institutionalisation of anti-Muslim racism

The War on Terror has re-cast Arab and Muslim populations as a "suspect population". Thus, the new police powers are used disproportionately against their communities. For example, stop-and-search of Asian people in the UK increased by 285 % in the last year [for which figures are available, 2002/3]. This, of course, has the effect of fuelling resentment in already alienated communities. State racism, or "institutional racism", both promotes and feeds off popular racism. Muslims around the world are demonised in the media as an enemy within and a global threat, further polarising society and fuelling racist notions about a "clash of civilisations". And in Europe, we are witnessing a dramatic shift, away from the multiculturalism gained from anti-racist struggle, towards a "monoculturalism" typified by George Bush's assertion that "either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists".

iii) Detention without trial and proscription without process

We all know about the legal black-holes that are Guantanamo Bay and Abu Graib, and the kind of punishments that are being meted out there. Some of us also know about similar US prisons and interrogation centres in Bagram and Kandaha in Afghanistan, and in Diego Garcia in the South Pacific. But while we may think of these as horrific "exceptions" on the legal landscape, this type of "justice", guilt by association, and the punishment of those we believe to be "dangerous", is fast being normalised.

The UK too has detained 16 people without charge or trial since "September 11", in Belmarsh prison. Canada and Russia also "intern" people they believe may be connected to terrorism – that's four of the eight G8 countries, the most developed countries in the world? And now, through the G8 and in its international relations, the US is lobbying for the introduction of "pre-terrorist" offences in jurisdictions across the world, allowing people to be locked-up by state-run courts on the basis of secret intelligence from the intelligence services. And where does some of this "intelligence" come from? From the global gulag that is developing across Guantanamo, Bagram and Belmarsh and the like, and from cooperation between some of the world's least trusted and most ruthless intelligence agencies.

And then we have the "proscribed lists of terrorist organisations", originating from the UN "Taleban sanctions committee", adopted as a UN Security Council Resolution, then enshrined into law across the world. Thus, the EU has now banned over 50 groups and individuals connected with "terrorism" outside the EU. It is now illegal to support those listed in anyway, and there is no mechanism of appeal for the groups included on the list. There has been no democratic input into the adoption of the terrorist lists. No debate. Only a few in authority have even questioned whether these 50 groups are terrorists rather than, in certain instances, liberation struggles, or legitimate resistance to occupation or state repression? These very concepts are casualties of the propaganda "war on terror".

iv) The contamination of migration and development policy

The "war on terror" is also contaminating a host of other state functions, policy issues and social relations. Primarily, it has greatly reinforced the repressive immigration control paradigm long pursued by the EU – so-called "Fortress Europe" – Australia and others. Terrorists, like "illegal immigrants", need to be kept out. But legal migrants could be terrorists, and so could asylum-seekers and so the boundary between terrorists and migrants and refugees is blurred in the public conscious – reinforcing the popular and institutional racism discussed above.

The "Fortress Europe" model has now evolved into one of global migration control. In this model the EU acts increasingly to prevent migration from third countries and return migrants and refugees to them. Before September 11, this migration control agenda was increasingly contaminating development policies to achieve these goals. Now, migration management obligations and security commitments are at the very centre of EU development policy, further undermining the very principles of that agenda. [Development policy has of course always been related to geopolitics, but never before has this relationship been formalised to such an extent.]

v) The globalisation of surveillance and control

In the name of combating terrorism, there are plans to fingerprint the whole world. This is not an exaggeration. A global identification system is being developed, in part through the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), a UN body that is setting global standards for use of biometric technologies. On the back of US demands for the fingerprints of all entrants to the US, and the ICAO standards, the EU has formally proposed the fingerprinting of all holders of EU passports, residence permits and visas (the EU already fingerprints all asylum-seekers and "illegal" migrants). "Biometrics" also appear in the clamour for ID cards from governments in many countries around the world. The upshot is that hundreds of millions of people will be biometrically profiled in the coming decade, and a wealth of personal information stored in government databases.

More US demands, this time for extensive details on all air passengers to enable both screening and risk profiling (so-called "PNR" data, "passenger name records"), are promoting a second global law enforcement infrastructure – this time for the surveillance of all air travel. Again, the ICAO, is the proposed standard bearer. So advanced are these plans, that US authorities already have direct access to the reservation databases of all European airlines flying into the US. This despite the fact that the European Parliament has voted to reject the relevant EU-US treaty on three occasions. The long term aim is the profiling of all travellers – the logic is that we've got to compile records on people who're innocent – otherwise, how could we confirm they're innocent? The presumption of innocence, the foundation of the common law legal system, is another casualty in the "war against terror".

The surveillance of all telecommunications is a third global initiative, with the law enforcement lobby succeeding in pushing for proposals for the mandatory retention of all communications traffic data. In addition to these global frameworks, there are dedicated domestic powers, such as the US "Patriot Act" and new proposals for "lawful access" to a host of public and private information systems.

vi) Increased government powers

The equation is simple: increased police powers, data collection and surveillance equals greater power for the state in terms of social control. At the same time, domestic legislation is handing "emergency powers" to governments over the state, civil administration and economic and social structures. In the UK, the unprecedented powers planned in the "civil contingencies bill" will mean that in times of "emergency", parliament will simply by by-passed by the government of the day. And of course, the "emergencies" in question, have, like the concept of terrorism, been defined in law as broadly as possible. Proportionality, a cornerstone of democracy, is another casualty of the "war on terror".

vii) The development of the security industrial complex

Quite simply, the "military industrial complex" has spawned a sprawling "security industrial complex". In the same way that multinational arms companies and the global arms trade has been the biggest promoter of war around the world, the security industrial complex has developed quickly and promotes new technologies of control and the militarisation of policing and internal security. The globalisation of security means that technologies of control developed by states in the name of "external security" are being turned inwards.

Pockets of resistance

We are all losing the war on terror, with the exception perhaps of "al Qaeda", so misguided is the conduct of this war. Future effects may be particularly pronounced in less democratic countries, where a failure on the part of established liberal democracies to respect their own human rights standards gives a de facto green light to similar abuses across the world. But there are what we might call "pockets of resistance".

There are local, national and international campaigns against this permanent state of terror, campaigns against ID cards and detention without trial, and a host of critical publications from NGOs and civil society organisations to counter the pro-security stance of the mainstream media. And there is the crucial work of criminal defence and human rights lawyers on individual "terrorist" cases and against the new anti-terrorist legislation.

However, while there have been some small victories, these have barely registered in the face of continual bombardment of visions of terror and insecurity from governments and the media. So what is to be done? We should call on the global peace and social justice movements to defend civil liberties and oppose the non-military aspects of the "war on terror" in the same way they have tried to stop the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. And to tackle the emerging security industrial complex in the same way they campaign against the arms trade. And that is my recommendation to the ASEM V people's forum.

Article Index

Articles from The Independent by Robert Verkaik, Legal Affairs Correspondent

Revealed: flawed intelligence exposes the scandal of Belmarsh detainees

6 January 2005

The case against the foreign terror suspects imprisoned in Britain without trial for three years is partly founded on flawed and inaccurate intelligence, court papers seen by The Independent reveal.

Alarming weaknesses in the secret services' evidence cast serious doubt on the Home Secretary's justification for detaining 12 men held under emergency legislation rushed through Parliament in the aftermath of 11 September.

Last month a historic judgment in the House of Lords triggered a constitutional crisis when the judges ruled that the men's detention was in breach of human rights law.

The documents reveal:

* A security service assessment was embarrassingly withdrawn after it emerged that the purpose behind a visit to Dorset by a group of Muslim men had not been to elect a terrorist leader but to get away from their wives for the weekend.

* Confirmation that the Government is using evidence of association with the Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg to hold at least two of the foreign terror suspects under its emergency powers.

* False allegations made against one of the Algerian detainees in relation to his association with Mr Begg arose from an MI5 surveillance operation of Mr Begg's Islamic bookshop in Birmingham in 2000. MI5 wrongly claimed that weapons had been found there.

* The Home Secretary has been forced to concede that some of the funds raised by the detainee Abu Rideh for alleged terrorist activity were sent to orphanages in Afghanistan run by a Canadian priest.

* Testimony against two of the detainees came from an affidavit sworn by a man who was offered a lenient sentence in return for evidence.

* Newspaper reports, including ones in The Guardian and La Stampa, were used by the Home Secretary to support allegations of terrorism against at least two of the detainees.

* Two of the detainees were awarded compensation for false arrest shortly before they were detained under the anti-terrorist emergency powers.

* MI5 reports, as part of the evidence against the detainees, describe the men as being "excessively security conscious" when travelling to and from London shopping centres.

* The detention certificate of F, one of the Algerian detainees, was revoked after it emerged he should have been deported to France rather than imprisoned without trial.

* One of the detainee's children has been taken into care.

While the papers, released in the run-up to the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and now available on the Special Immigration Appeal [SIAC] website, only give details of the "open" evidence against the detainees, the inaccuracy of some of these assertions raises questions about the reliability of the secret evidence that the detainees have never been allowed to see.

It also supports conclusions reached by the SIAC judges in granting the release of a Libyan suspect last year when they warned that many assertions had not been supported by a fair analysis of the facts.

They said then: "Some [of the assertions] are clearly misleading when the source documents are looked at and some can only be justified if the worst possible view is taken of the appellant.

"Further, in some instances it was apparent that insufficient effort was made to ensure that what appeared to be accurate on a somewhat superficial view of the material was in fact accurate since further investigation showed that it was not."

SIAC was set up in 1997 and had its jurisdiction extended in the aftermath of the 11 September attacks to hear appeals against the Home Secretary's power to certify a person to be an international terrorist and detain them under Part 4 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001.

In all but one of 16 appeals the SIAC judges have ruled that the totality of the evidence, both open and secret, has established a "reasonable suspicion" that the detainee is involved or linked to terrorism. But they have also acknowledged that their rulings are bound by the House of Lords judgment that found the detention to be unlawful.

At the end of this month SIAC will hear the first challenges to the Home Secretary's power of certification after the House of Lords ruled that detention without trial was a fundamental breach of the men's human rights.

Belmarsh: Lawyers withdrew from hearings

7 January 2005

The controversial system of using government-appointed lawyers to represent foreign terror suspects was close to collapse last year after barristers refused to take part in secret hearings, according to court documents seen by The Independent.

Last month, the House of Lords ruled that the indefinite detention of the men without trial was unlawful, prompting a senior barrister to resign as a government-appointed "special advocate".

Now it emerges that two other "special advocates" representing Abu Qatada, accused of being "al-Qa'ida's spiritual representative in Europe", told a court that they would not act for Mr Qatada during the secret hearings.

Mr Qatada had made it clear that he thought that the proceedings were unfair because he was not allowed to know the case against him.

Mr Justice Collins, hearing Mr Qatada's appeal over the Home Secretary's decision to have him detained under emergency anti-terror laws, was so alarmed by the barristers' withdrawal that he asked the Solicitor General, Harriet Harman, to intervene to try to change the lawyers' minds.

The papers show that Ms Harman refused to act on the judge's request, saying it was not her role to intervene in such cases. The special advocates, Angus McCullough and Martin Chamberlain, later refused to disclose to the judge exactly why they had chosen not to challenge the secret evidence against Mr Qatada. They said this was because it was not in his best interests.

Mr Justice Collins tried to persuade the barristers to fall in line by telling them that they were "wrong not to take part in the proceedings". He said: "The appeal was still being pursued and the appellant [Qatada] did not know what was relied on against him in the closed material. We were unable to understand how in the circumstances it could not be in his interests for the special advocates, at their discretion, to elicit or identify matters favourable to the appellant and to make submissions to us to seek to persuade us that evidence was in fact unreliable or did not justify the assessment made."

He added: "Our further attempts to persuade the special advocates to change their minds were unsuccessful and since we could not compel them to act in any particular way, we had to proceed without them." During the closed part of the proceedings the judges took the unusual step of asking the Home Office barrister to identify secret service intelligence "that might be exculpatory".

Last night Mr Chamberlain confirmed that he and Mr McCullough had refused to take part in the closed hearings but declined to reveal the full reasons for their decision. Mr Chamberlain also declined to say whether he was preparing to resign his position.

Yesterday The Independent revealed how some of the open evidence against the detainees had been withdrawn or discredited. Ian Macdonald QC, the barrister who resigned his position as a special advocate over the "odious" law that permitted the indefinite detention of foreign terror suspects, said the evidence adduced by the Home Secretary at the secret hearings "need not be accurate". He said: "Information need not be accurate to give rise to reasonable suspicion and that is part of the problem with the legislation."

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, said: "This shows why the Government is so reluctant to put these men on trial - the so-called "intelligence" is seriously flawed. Charles Clarke should act now to end this blatant abuse of human rights."

Article Index

Tools for a Muslim Civil Rights Movement

Extracts from an article published by "Stop Political Terror", December 27, 2004

As the American empire continues its brutal onslaught against the people of Iraq, Muslims communities in Britain and the West more generally are faced with a serious dilemma when living as minorities within the belly of beast. Muslims are subjected to constant scrutiny, demonisation by the media and have become a suspect community that has to prove its loyalty so as to contradict perceptions of it being a potential Trojan horse for Al Qaeda.

It is clear that every imperialist war requires a bogey man; the Cold War had the Soviet Union, the conflict in Northern Ireland led to mass state repression of the Irish community, the US during the 1960s saw a massive clamp down by the FBI against various "communist" sympathisers who refused to support the Vietnam war and in particular those groups among the Afro American community such as the Black Panthers who were making connections between the civil rights and Black struggle at home and the war abroad.

History has now entered the Muslim community as the latest targets of imperialism, however it is important that we as a community do not adopt a victim mentality, indeed this was a concern of Black leaders such as Malcolm X in the US during the 1960s, who saw the importance of dealing politically with the oppression that was facing the Afro Americans. The Muslims of Britain need to adopt the same strategy so as to counter the state repression against our community and the continuing erosion of our civil rights. One such tool which has been overlooked is lobbying, and in particular the lobbying of the political system which represents us. This is important so as to hold local and national representatives we elected, to account for their actions.

Britain today has become a shadow of the democracy it was before 9//11. The present New Labour governments have clearly declared a visible political war against the Muslim community through a series of repressive legislation which has and continues to be implemented with disastrous results.

The passing of the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCSA) has led to the mass detaining of hundreds of Muslims post 9/11 of which few if any have been convicted. Such arrests have been based on flimsy evidence and have involved violent harassment and physical assault by the police as seen with the case of Babar Ahmad. The ATCSA itself has allowed the indefinite internment of individuals and in particular foreign nationals. Under article 4 of ATCSA such suspects are to be dealt with in immigration courts and not criminal courts, where the formers standard of proof is a great deal less in comparison to the latter, thus the standards of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act no longer apply.

In such cases both the suspects and also lawyers are prevented access to information provided by Special Branch and the Intelligence Services with regards to the evidence held against them. In such a situation fair trials are abolished and one can compare this situation to the show trials of various dictatorships throughout history.

Another reality of the current anti-terrorist legislation is that the idea of "innocent until proven guilty" is slowly becoming more and more meaningless. The current UK-US extradition treaty 2003 removes the requirement of the US to provide evidence to the UK when requesting extradition and removes key protection for suspects and defendants. If we take the Babar Ahmad case as an example, it is clear that after his arrest and severe beating by the police in December 2003 and his recent re-arrest under this treaty, a fair trial has never once been granted and furthermore the accusations made against him involve an alleged terror plot on the Empire State building in New York, nevertheless the evidence for this allegation is based on a 30 year old travel brochure that was found in Babar Ahmad’s father’s house when it was raided by police.

It is clear that the likes of David Blunkett and his American allies have based much of these cases on pure fantasy which prove the political agendas behind such racist legislation. Such legislation is merely applied to ordinary people yet powerful elites are clearly exempt.

In a recent case regarding the extradition of three bankers involved in the ENRON scandal, David Blunkett has kindly intervened thereby delaying their extradition. Another example for the sheer bias nature of extradition can be seen with the case of Bhopal, India where in 1984 the worst industrial disaster killing over 8000 people and devastating an entire community was caused by the US company; Union Carbide. The Chief Executive, Warren Anderson who is still wanted on extradition under manslaughter charges by the Indian government resides in America and it is interesting to see that the US government refuses to extradite him.

Much of the current anti-terror legislation and indeed the Home Secretary’s proposals represent a politicisation of the legal process and a blatant contravention of the Geneva Convention. Alongside the introduction of identity cards it is clear that we are witnessing a wider attack on civil liberties which will affect everyone and not just Muslims. In this context one has to ask where is the opposition from the Muslim community? We must ask ourselves whether we accept this situation or take political action.

For full article, see: http://www.stoppoliticalterror.com/articlesingle.php?article=641

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