Amnesty to observe trial amid concerns for 'Stansted 15'

By agency reporter
October 1, 2018

Amnesty International will be observing the trial of 15 human rights defenders set to go on trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on1 October 2018, relating to their attempt to prevent what they believed was the unlawful deportation of a group of people at Stansted airport.

The protesters, known as the 'Stansted 15', are facing lengthy jail sentences for their non-violent intervention in March last year.

Amnesty is concerned that the serious charge of “endangering safety at aerodromes” may have been brought to discourage other activists from taking non-violent direct action in defence of human rights. The organisation has written to the Director of the Crown Prosecution Service and the Attorney General calling for this disproportionate charge to be dropped. The trial is currently expected to last for approximately six weeks. 

Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s Director, said: “We’re concerned the authorities are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut with this case. Public protest and non-violent direct action can often be a key means of defending human rights, particularly when victims have no way to make their voices heard and have been denied access to justice.

“Human rights defenders are currently coming under attack in many countries around the world, with those in power doing all they can to discourage people from taking injustice personally. The UK must not go down that path.”

*Read Savi Hensman's comment piece on the Stansted 15 here

* Amnesty International https://www.amnesty.org.uk/

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