UK Liberty

Shame on the Conservatives

Posted in law and order, politicians on liberty, rule of law by ukliberty on February 19, 2009

Whatever you think of Abu Qatada (and I think very little of him), it was not right that he was unlawfully detained.

And indeed that is what the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.  The Guardian:

The radical preacher Abu Qatada was today awarded £2,500 compensation by the European court of human rights after judges ruled that his detention without trial in the UK breached his human rights. …

The court said the men’s detention violated three provisions of the human rights convention: the right to liberty and security; the right to have the lawfulness of detention decided by a court; and the right to compensation for unlawful detention. The judges rejected a fourth complaint, that the men’s detention amounted to “torture and inhuman or degrading treatment”. …

So along comes Chris Grayling, shadow Home Secretary for the Conservatives:

This decision will horrify most reasonable people in the UK.

Essentially saying that unlawfully detained people shouldn’t be entitled to compensation.  This seems unreasonable to me.

It shows just how incompetent the government has been at managing the problem of preachers of hate and, frankly, it makes a mockery of the concept of human rights if we can’t protect ourselves against people who are out to destroy our society.

It’s got to be done lawfully though.

Note the Court took into account that Qatada was held as a result of a public emergency:

In their ruling, the judges said the detainees’ cash compensation was “substantially lower” than in previous cases of “unlawful detention”. This was because they recognised that the government’s detention scheme was “devised in the face of a public emergency, and as an attempt to reconcile the need to protect the UK public against terrorism with the obligation not to send the applicants back to countries where they faced a real risk of ill-treatment”.


Shadow security minister Crispin Blunt said the pay-out was “an appalling scandal”. (the BBC)

No, it is an appalling scandal when high-up Conservatives demonstrate a disrespect for the rule of law and fundamental human rights.  Shame on them.

Yes, it does seem a bit odd to compensate someone we consider a threat to national security and want to deport.  On the other hand, though, we can’t have the state unlawfully detaining people.


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