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UK Combat Terrorism Measures Erode Human Rights

United Kingdom: Home Secretary's reported proposals -- an aberration of justice, the rule of law and human rights

Amnesty International is extremely concerned at the Home Secretary's suggestions for new measures to "combat terrorism". If implemented, these measures would dispense with justice, the rule of law and human rights in the UK.

"Instead of further undermining the rule of law and human rights, the UK authorities should start to pay attention to the concerns currently being expressed by people and organizations from many different walks of life."

"Eminent religious leaders and members of the legal profession in the UK have repeatedly criticized the serious human rights violations that have taken place in the context of the UK authorities' response to the 11 September 2001 attacks."

"These measures have already created a small-scale Guantanamo Bay in the UK by allowing the continuing detention of 14 foreign nationals without charge or trial."

"Any plans to extend these measures to UK citizens must be resisted."

Amnesty International has consistently called for:

* The UK government to repeal Part 4 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCSA), which allows for indefinite detention without charge or trial * Individuals held under the Act to either be charged and tried in proceedings that meet international fair trial standards, or to be released.

The Newton Committee, the Committee of Privy Counsellors, who had been charged with reviewing the ATCSA, has already recommended the urgent repeal of the ATCSA powers allowing non-UK nationals to be detained potentially indefinitely. It is therefore particularly disconcerting that the Home Secretary is reportedly suggesting the introduction of wider internment-like measures.

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