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Unjust anti-terror law

Liberty | 10.10.2005 23:35 | Repression | Terror War

This week the Government is likely to bring forward a new Terrorism Bill which will have serious and frightening implications for free speech and allow for the detention of suspects for three months prior to charge.

Government’s New Anti-Terror Legislation- What you can do

* Come to the public discussion meeting in Westminster Central Hall. Wednesday 12 October.

* Sign the statement opposing counter productive measures in the new legislation at:

* Write to your MP and urge them to oppose three month detention prior to charge and the undermining of free speech.


This week the Government is likely to bring forward a new Terrorism Bill which will have serious and frightening implications for free speech and allow for the detention of suspects for three months prior to charge.

Liberty does believe that the Government must take appropriate steps to protect us all from terrorism. Security and freedom (as manifest in the right to life and freedoms of speech and against arbitrary detention) are best reconciled and advanced within the international human rights framework left to the world by the generation which survived the Holocaust and the Blitz. This framework pays considerable respect to questions of public safety, but rightly demands detailed and rigorous thinking from Governments and legislators who find themselves interfering with competing rights and freedoms.

Legislation of this kind should never be devised as a blunt tool for expressing political revulsion at terrifying acts. Statutes must be drafted with greater care than speeches. It is not sufficient that the passing of a new law would send tough signals to Britain’s enemies, nor that it somehow makes some of us feel safer. Each proposed interference with democratic rights and freedoms must be carefully weighed against its purported benefits. Such laws are likely to be with us for a very long time and we would respectfully remind Parliamentarians of previous British experiences of the unintended and counter-productive consequences of “exceptional” anti-terror legislation.

We are concerned that a number of measures in the Bill will do little to make us safer but will undermine free speech and protections against unjustified detention. As a consequence they will be counterproductive by undermining national unity in the face of the threat, and criminalising those who are not involved in terrorism.

Of particular concern:

· Proposals to create new offences of encouragement of terrorism, including statements which ‘glorify’ terrorist acts, and dissemination of terrorist publications are extremely broadly drafted. They do not require any intention to incite others to commit criminal acts. The Terrorism Act 2000 (TA) and existing common law means there is already very broad criminal law. Any difficulty in bringing prosecutions can be largely attributed to factors such as the self imposed ban on the admissibility of intercept evidence.

· Plans to allow three month detentions without charge will have a severe impact on community relations. This would allow for the equivalent of a six month custodial sentence. It is over twenty times the pre charge detention time limit for murder. If the police have genuine difficulties in gathering evidence we should look for more proportionate ways of dealing with the problem.

·Extension of the grounds for proscription under the TA will criminalise membership or support of non-violent political parties. It is not possible to overstate the implications of criminalising non-violent organisations on the basis of their opinions. This is an incredibly dangerous road for the Government of a democratic state to consider.


Tuesday 11th October, Public Meeting

7-9pm, Grand Committee Room, House of Commons, London

Speakers include Mike Mansfield QC; Louise Christian; Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, author of “War on Truth”, Executive director of Institute of Policy Research and Development; Lord Rea; Mark Oaten MP; Judith Vidal-Hall, editor of Index on Censorship; Bill Bowring, barrister and professor of Human Rights and International Law, Director of HRSJ, London Metropolitan University; Doug Jewell, Liberty Campaigns Co-ordinator, Lindsey German, Stop The War Coalition: Ben Hayes, Statewatch; Lynne Featherstone MP; Saghir Hussain, Stop Political Terror

Wednesday 12th October, Public Discussion Meeting
The Governments New Anti-Terror Bill
Central Hall Westminster on 12 October 2005 from 6.30pm to 9.00pm.

Speakers include: • Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, • Mark Oaten MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, • Alec Salmond, Leader Scottish national Party, • Shami Chakrabarti, Liberty, • Frank Dobson MP, • Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Muslim Council of Britain, • Rt Revd Colin Bennetts, Bishop of Coventry, • Dr Azzam Tamimi, Muslim Association of Britain, • Barry Campfield, Assistant General Secretary TGWU, • Kate Hudson, Chair CND

The speakers are all signatories to the ‘Only united communities will defeat terrorism and protect civil liberties’ statement. To add your name go to

Wednesday 12th October, Public Meeting

IRAQ: The Unheard Voices; Raising awareness of alleged abuses in Iraq

Wednesday 12th October, Committee Room 10, House of Commons, Westminster.

Speakers: Phil Shiner, Public Interest Lawyers, Carla Ferstman, Director of Redress, Sadiq Khan MP, Clare SHORT MP and Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty

The Solicitors’ International Human Rights Group, with the support of Public Interest Lawyers, is holding a meeting to discuss the case of Al Skeini v Secretary of State for Defence to take place in the Court of Appeal on 10 and 11 October 2005, and all cases of alleged torture, abuse or ill treatment by UK armed forces in Iraq.

What Can You Do?

·Go to the Liberty website for the latest campaigns information at

·Sign the United Communities statement at

·Write to your MP.

·Write to your local newspaper.

·Get your friends and neighbours to join Liberty. You can join online at

If you would like to be kept informed about the campaign against unjust anti-terror laws please contact Doug Jewell, the Campaigns Coordinator, at



Hide the following 9 comments

Just another Shell Game

11.10.2005 04:57

Speakers include: • Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, • Mark Oaten MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, • Alec Salmond, Leader Scottish national Party, • Shami Chakrabarti, Liberty, • Frank Dobson MP, • Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Muslim Council of Britain, • Rt Revd Colin Bennetts, Bishop of Coventry, • Dr Azzam Tamimi, Muslim Association of Britain, • Barry Campfield, Assistant General Secretary TGWU, • Kate Hudson, Chair CND

The speakers are all signatories to the ‘Only united communities will defeat terrorism and protect civil liberties’

There is that word ***UNITED*** again. But then, the speakers are ALMOST ENTIRELY Blair goons. In this context, UNITED is a control word, and means ONLY ONE OPINION ALLOWED.

You see here, and with the post from Liverpool Uni, Black Propaganda in its purest form. You see also why the infiltration and control of key organisations is so important to Blair.

Civil liberties are protected, and violent dissent reduced only WHEN a true diversity of voices speak, and are listened to. Today, Blair has acted to exterminate muslim dissent across the planet, while giving full backing to the vile acts of violence committed by vicious western-pleasing regimes. Of particular note is the gift that Blair chose to give to the Monster of Uzbekistan, the mass murdering Islam Karimov, the guy with a penchant for boiling people alive.

Back to UNITED, the same united that was supposed to apply to the animals in 'Animal Farm' (as I also remarked before). United means that YOU don't have to speak, because there is always someone who can speak your opinion for you. Of course, if they DON'T represent your opinion, that means you lie outside UNITED OPINION, and thus you are an enemy of the state.

What can you do??? GIVE NO SUPPORT WHATSOEVER TO LIBERTY. This is a despicable front for Blair, and has long ceased to have any valid or genuine function. Membership will NOT change the fully infiltrated leadership.

Liberty's role now is to divert and distract attention until Blair's new laws are a fait accompli. At the same time, they will make a song and dance about the disposable aspects of Blair's supposed intentions, and claim victory when these phoney intentions are discarded.

Opposing Blair, the Leader with god like powers on only 20% of the voter population, is going to become increasingly difficult, and it has been hard enough in the past. A powerful popular leader can be threatened by withdrawal of support. Blair has no support to start with, so he doesn't have to give a damn what people think of him, or his plans. If he doesn't feel it, it doesn't bother him, and this is why the massive anti-invasion demo had ZERO impact.

By the way, notice how the crap about Gordon Brown replacing Blair has morphed into Glenda Jackson saying, "don't worry- I will stand against Blair in the distant future if he doesn't stand down". I was waiting for her to demonstrate her usefulness to her master, now that Claire Short could hardly be used for a third time without even the dumbest person becoming suspicious.

You are going to see a lot of phoney debate in the near future. This happens precisely because Blair automatically gets his way in Parliament. Thus the people MUST be made to think that opposing voices received SOME consideration, and this will be done via impotent protest and discussion, always led by one of Blair's fronts. On each occasion, Blair will ask for more than he wants (at that moment), and on each occasion the FRONT will trumpet people's victory when Blair ONLY gets what he actually wanted all along.

Once again, nothing but the oldest political chicanery, but an illusion that requires the widest public participation, hence the reason for the posting of the article above.


What is wrong with fighting terrorism?

11.10.2005 08:42

Just what is wrong with fighting terrorism? Will all the terrorists just pack and leave us alone if the government ignores terrorism threats? I can't understand the mentality of you people. What would you rather have terrorists bombings and murdering people or laws designed to prevent such terrorists from operating?

Also remember the terrorists attacked us first! Do you not remember the September 11th 2001 attacks on America? What did America do to provoke those attacks which killed 3,000 people? You can't blame those attacks on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq can you?



11.10.2005 09:14

So is this the same Liberty whose director Shami Chakrabarti, the day after the London bombing, rushed to voice her ‘unequivocal respect and admiration for the leadership shown by the Home Secretary [who] signalled effective but proportionate responses to the threat, which distinguish between the innocent and the guilty’, and which has been campaigned for the admissibility of phone-tap evidence in ‘terrorist trials’, on the bizarre grounds that this would mean the government could try those arrested on the basis of such ‘intelligence’, and therefore would no longer ‘need’ control orders or detention without trial?



11.10.2005 13:41

Yes, concerned, what did the US do to provoke September 11th except decades of imperial intervention in the middle east

How about the British invading muslim lands in world war one, and imposing a whole load of corrupt puppet kings on them.
Promosing their independence, then in reality exploiting their oil, and handing over part of their lands, Palestine, to the Jews, when it never belonged to the British to give away
How about Winston Churchill using chemical weapons on the Kurds, like good old Saddam afterwards
How about British Petroleum enlisting the CIA to create a coup, removing the elected Mosadeq from power, and bringing in the Shah, and years of torture and terror
How about invading the Suez canal
How about continuing to support the actions of Israel as it occupied and murdered in the lands of the Palestinians, providing help for them to create nuclear weapons, selling them arms
How about funding and supporting Saddam Hussein to fight against the Iranian revolution, when the Iranian people overthrew the tyrannical and western backed Shah
How about funding Islamic Fundamentalists to fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and then leaving it to rot, and fall into the hands of warlords
How about invading and bombing the shit out of Iraq, and occupying the Arab lands with militiary bases, most insultingly in their holy lands in Saudi Arabia
How about years of sanctions that killed millions of Iraqis
How about propping up the corrupt and greedy regime in Saudi Arabia with money and weapons, who get rich off the oil they sell to us, while their people suffer in poverty
How about providing Israel with millions of dollars which they use to occupy and oppress the Palestinians, and build illegal settlements on the West bank and Gaza

But apart from all that, yes, September 11th just came out of nowhere. Just minding our own business. Not meddling in the middle east at all.
Just ask yourself, what fucking right do the Americans, who live on the other side of the world, have to be interfering in the middle east. What right did the British have, who lived to the west of Europe, to invade those lands and exploit their oil.
No right. Or at least, no more right than those of people who wanted to end this interference, and took the dreadful decision to fly themselves into buildings to try and free themselves.

Open your eyes. The facts are there, but you choose not to look for them. You choose to live in ignorance. But truth will set you free.


Ive finally figured concerned out

11.10.2005 13:45

Hes either an educated wind up artist or just a 12 yr old quoting what he hears from his parents during dinner time.

Obviously before the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan there has been no other form of agression shown by the west towards the middle east. Britain has had over 30 military interventions inside the middle east over the past 60 years and is responsible for placing some well known dictators incountries such as egypt and iraq in the past.

USA and Britain are responsible for selling the weapons to Iraq which it used to attempt the invasion of Iran (with British and US support)

The west is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iraqis during sanctions and lets not forget they still bombed Iraq on a daily basis during that time.

The west is responsible for setting up the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and funded them all the way till sep 11th 2001

Britain is responsible for leaving hundreds of thousands of Palestinians without land when it gave their land for the creation of Israel and the west was then responsible for sitting by and watching Israel violate UN resolution after UN resolution (over 70 in all) without doing anything.

Let me just say im all for catching the terrorists starting with every1 who voted for wars in Iraq Afghanistan and even further back Iraq 1989 and Yugoslavia 1999. I am also for catching any1 in connection with the london bombings but i dont think that will ever happen coz if we were to trace the roots of these organisations we may be surprised to find out whos in charge of them.

What im not for is Terror laws used to create a climate of fear and racism within a country and which do nothing else but result in the arrests of hundreds of innocent people without trial. This on its own is an act of terrorism. We must plan a massive demonstration soon because il tell u Britain is more of a terror state than the US is with more cameras per person and more terror laws. Any progressive thinking person must be with me on this. DEMO SOON!!

Not concerned about concerned anymore

Nothing can ever justify terrorism and the murder of innocent people!

11.10.2005 18:04

Hermes, you should realise that whatever the terrorists grievances nothing can ever justify terrorism and the murder of innocent people! What happened on September the 11th 2001 was an act of war. The United States had a duty to respond, to meet force with force inorder to protect its citizens. There are legitimate channels for disgruntled groups to lodge their grievances such as the United Nations. People often try to explain or justify terrorism, but the truth is you can never and should never try to give credence to terrorists. They are the utmost evil of people. The only response to terrorism must always be to take then on and defeat them. Negoatiating with terrorists and trying to appease them only results in more terrorism by other groups who want their grievances addressed.


Concerned is right

11.10.2005 21:18

So the fact that the West and mainly the US was responsible for the death of tens of thousands (much more than sept 11th) of innocents in the middle east even before your precious sept 11th isnt an act of war? Well if 3,000 innocents dead is an act of war then what would u call over 100,000 innocents dead? Oh and by the way all but 2 of the sept 11th bombers were saudis and absolutely no links were found between al queda and Iraq but yea sure dont hastle Saudi Arabia coz we already got their oil. Go for Iraq.

what R u on


11.10.2005 21:26

The war started long before 9-11, and the US and Britain should heed your own words. There is no justification for the killings of innocents. Why, then, have we killed far more men, women and children as a result of our own militiary actions than Al Qaeda has caused us.

Afghanistan alone killed more civilians than were killed in 9-11. And Iraq has killed thousands of civilians.

9-11 was not the first battle in the war between the US and Al Qaeda. It shows you as being incredibly naive when you say it was the "first attack in a war", and just goes to show how much attention you were paying to the dubious foreign policy of the US before that moment. It was simply the first attack on US soil. We had been fighting them for years before then in the middle east, killing many civilians ourselves. 1998 there were the Al Qaeda bombings of US embassies in East Africa. In retaliation, the US launched cruise missiles at Afghanistan, and bombed a pharmaceuticals plant in the Sudan, which they believed was making chemical weapons, and turned out to be making, surprise, pharmaceuticals.

Was the Africa bombing the first attack? No. It keeps going back. In East Africa there was also a history of US intervention, notably in Somalia, happening around the same time as the first gulf war. How many civilians were killed in those interventions? If we go back, we find a lot of roots of the conflict in Lebanon, occupied by the US, plundered by Israel.

No, they did not strike first, we had been killing arabs in the middle east for decades before 9-11, but you didn't care about that. You only cared when desperate men committed a terrible deed on US soil. And suddenly you were screaming 'What did we do to you?' Willful ignorance. If you really care about the situation, and want to stop it from happening, you will find out the reasons behind it, and get informed. Shouting 'terrorist', and adopting this draconian legislation, and doing nothing to address the motivations for these men, the real, genuine grievances, will only create more terrorism.


war, terrorism, yawn

12.10.2005 12:45

concerned, you've been trashed well enough already, but here's another tuppence-worth:
act of war: wasn't committed by another state, so wasn't an act of war.
was committed by saudis, but as pointed out, saudi is 'our' ally and despotic blah blah...

bin laden and bush families in cahoots since blah blah, oil companies, usama probably got pissed off with his family dealing with state occupying holy sites of islam, his stated reason for 911 et al, along with Palestine.

invasions of afghanistan and iraq, without UN backing, hence acts of aggression and not only 'acts of war', but also launching of 'wars of aggression' = war crimes under nuremburg principles.

the world does, but isn't supposed to, run according to the principles expressed in the mad ramblings of a texan oil redneck and his appeasers, but supposedly should run under principles like law, justice, international law. the u.s. has chosen to abandon these in order to pursue a foreign policy of preemptive strikes on the basis of no evidence of threat to itself, and a policy of 'full spectrum dominance'. if that isn't enough of a james bond villain give-away for you, it means total world domination.

try, instead of applying the vigilante principles of posses in the wild west ("let's go get em boys! yee-ha!"), applying the traditional british priniciple (ha-ha) of supporting the underdog.

oh no, that's now being made illegal. Support for the french resistance would now be illegal. ("states who sponsor or support or give succour to terrorists" "terrorism = the use of violence to achieve political ends")

tired rant over...


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