news from ekklesia

news from ekklesia

By staff writers
12 Dec 2003

UK Anti-terror measures like Guantanamo Bay

-12/12/03

The Government's anti-terrorism measures have created a "Guantanamo Bay in our own backyard", claims Amnesty International.

The human rights group said Home Secretary David Blunkett's emergency measures - brought in shortly after the September 11 atrocities - had created a "shadow" criminal justice system for foreigners.

Criticism of the Government's anti-terrorism measures may also be forthcoming from church figures who spoke out against the invasion of Iraq but also about the detention of prisoners.

In July the Bishop of Shrewsbury called on churchgoers to speak up for the detainees being held in Guantanamo Bay.

Writing in the August edition of LINK - an insert produced for parish magazines in the Diocese of Lichfield - the Rt Revd Alan Smith said that Christians had a "prime religious obligation" to "speak up for the voiceless, to protect the innocent and to help the weak".

Amnesty International are claiming that by allowing detainees to be locked up indefinitely without charge or trial ministers had failed to meet international standards, the group claimed.

The report, entitled UK: Justice Perverted under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, looked at laws which have led to 14 people being detained as suspected international terrorists at high security jails.

Six of the these will have been in detention for two years on December 19.

Amnesty International's Kate Allen said: "The Act is discriminatory - there is one set of rules for British citizens and another for nationals of other countries.

"It effectively allows non-nationals to be treated as if they have been charged with a criminal offence, convicted without a trial and sentenced to an open-ended term of imprisonment.

"In no respect can this be considered just.

"This legislation has created a Guantanamo Bay in our own backyard."

The reports said the part of the Act which allowed people to be interned amounted to a "perversion of justice".

UK Anti-terror measures like Guantanamo Bay

-12/12/03

The Government's anti-terrorism measures have created a "Guantanamo Bay in our own backyard", claims Amnesty International.

The human rights group said Home Secretary David Blunkett's emergency measures - brought in shortly after the September 11 atrocities - had created a "shadow" criminal justice system for foreigners.

Criticism of the Government's anti-terrorism measures may also be forthcoming from church figures who spoke out against the invasion of Iraq but also about the detention of prisoners.

In July the Bishop of Shrewsbury called on churchgoers to speak up for the detainees being held in Guantanamo Bay.

Writing in the August edition of LINK - an insert produced for parish magazines in the Diocese of Lichfield - the Rt Revd Alan Smith said that Christians had a "prime religious obligation" to "speak up for the voiceless, to protect the innocent and to help the weak".

Amnesty International are claiming that by allowing detainees to be locked up indefinitely without charge or trial ministers had failed to meet international standards, the group claimed.

The report, entitled UK: Justice Perverted under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, looked at laws which have led to 14 people being detained as suspected international terrorists at high security jails.

Six of the these will have been in detention for two years on December 19.

Amnesty International's Kate Allen said: "The Act is discriminatory - there is one set of rules for British citizens and another for nationals of other countries.

"It effectively allows non-nationals to be treated as if they have been charged with a criminal offence, convicted without a trial and sentenced to an open-ended term of imprisonment.

"In no respect can this be considered just.

"This legislation has created a Guantanamo Bay in our own backyard."

The reports said the part of the Act which allowed people to be interned amounted to a "perversion of justice".

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