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Detaining non-UK nats. indefinitely discriminatory

Detaining non-UK nationals indefinitely is discriminatory

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

30 July 2002 EUR 45/014/2002

The UK government's power under Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCSA) to detain, potentially indefinitely, non-UK nationals deemed by the Secretary of State to be "suspected international terrorists" was found to be discriminatory today by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

The Court found that the targeting of non-UK nationals was discriminatory and disproportionate. The Court determined that the detention measures were not compatible with the UK's obligations under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The UK government is appealing the judgment.

The nine people currently detained in two high security prisons in the UK under the ATCSA will, however, remain in detention pending the outcome of their individual appeals which are not due to be heard until the autumn of this year.

Amnesty International opposes indefinite detention without charge or trial. The organization continues to call on the UK government to release all persons detained under the ATCSA unless they are charged with a recognizably criminal offence and tried by and independent and impartial court in proceedings which meet international standards of fairness.

For further information: http://web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/recent/EUR450122002!Open

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