UK Liberty

How to lose friends and alienate people

Posted in law and order by ukliberty on February 25, 2009

Peter Tatchell in the Guardian:

After living an exemplary life in the UK for 14 years, Nottingham University staff member Hicham Yezza was arrested on unfounded terrorism charges and now faces the prospect of being forcibly removed to his homeland of Algeria – terminating his successful, commendable life in the UK and tearing him from his dearest friends and loved ones. …

What has happened to Yezza is just the latest of many perversions of justice. In the name of fighting terrorism, the government is playing fast and loose with civil liberties. Innocent people, like Yezza, are being arrested on the flimsiest circumstantial evidence. This risks bringing the legal system into disrepute and damaging public confidence in British justice. …

Yezza’s ordeal is not exceptional. Since 2000, more than 1,200 people have been arrested on suspicion of terrorist involvement. Of those arrested, less than 5% have been found guilty. In the same period, nearly 180,000 individuals were stopped and questioned by the police under the Terrorism Act 2000. I am one of them. Of those stopped, only 255 were subsequently detained for terrorist-related offences. The use of this law is clearly far too random and pretty useless when it comes to apprehending actual terror plotters. It is also alienating a lot of innocent people, and their friends and family. …

A few older articles on stop and search on this blog that may be of interest.

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