Also check the excellant Statewatch website for the latest news and analysis on the current UK Prevention of Terrorism Bill - http://www.statewatch.org
G8 and EU counter-terrorism plans:
- "special investigative" techniques
- "intelligence information" in court
- new "preparatory" offences
"In a democracy when the rights and freedoms of the few are curtailed so too are the rights and freedoms of us all"
(Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor)
Today Statewatch is releasing an in-depth report on the new counter-terrorism regime. Using public (and some secret) documents the report looks at EU and G8 plans for:
"Special investigative techniques" including phone-tapping, "bugging" premises, informers, undercover agents and bribes for information. The results of this surveillance would be "available" to agencies across the EU and outside.
"Intelligence information" bringing together surveillance from more than a dozen sources - including that from outside the EU will be presented as evidencein court while "protecting" the sources.
"Preparatory offences" intended to criminalise people prior to a terrorist act being committed. As being discussed in the Council of Europe this could cover the crime of apologie for terrorism: "where the message, although not directly advocating such acts, would be reasonably interpreted to have that effect, inter alia, by presenting an act of terrorism as necessary and justified".
The report also looks at:
* UK: The proposal to introduce "control orders" including "house arrest" as alternatives to detaining people without trial in Belmarsh and Woodhill prisons.
* G8: Discussions to bring about these Initiatives which started in May 2002. And why the UK thinks G8 should be asked to set out proposals to ensure EU members states' "compliance".
The author of the report Statewatch editor, Tony Bunyan, comments:
"The UK and the EU are facing a defining moment in their response to terrorism. In combination these three initiatives herald a new, dangerous, era of pre-emptive state action where the emphasis is shifted from bringing people before the courts to face criminal charges to targeting all those suspectedof involvement or even allegedly "supporting" terrorism.
To create new offences of "preparatory" acts where no crime has been committed, to employ surveillance techniques which will catch the innocent in their net, to change the rule of law so that defendants will not know the evidence against them or its sources, and to imprison or put people under house arrest on this basis is quite unacceptable.
In a democracy when the rights and freedoms of the few are curtailed so too are the rights and freedoms of us all."
The full report, 12,000 words with live links, is available at: