Control Orders - telling the government why we don't want them
The UK’s control order regime, which Amnesty has opposed since its inception, took another kicking in the courts yesterday. The Court of Appeal rejected a Government challenge to a landmark High Court ruling allowing compensation claims from people whose liberty had been unfairly restricted by control orders, in this case two people known as AF and AE for legal reasons.
It’s a good result. Victims of human rights violations have a right to seek a remedy and reparation, and the Appeal Court’s decision reaffirms that people whose fundamental human rights have been violated by the control order regime can seek compensation.
Last week we launched a new campaigning action against control orders, the UK government measure that allows the authorities to impose serious restrictions on people’s liberty on the basis of secret evidence that they can’t see or challenge.
The control order regime gives the government sweeping powers to control the lives of people suspected – but importantly not convicted in a fair trial – of terrorism-related offences. The authorities can impose restrictions on where they can go, who they can talk to, what they can do & can confine people to their homes for long periods of time. The impact on people’s lives, and those of their families, can be devastating.
We asked people to go to the new ‘Your Freedom’ site and support a suggestion from Amnesty UK Director Kate Allen, that control orders should be abolished for good. We’ve had a fantastic response and now 1,745 people have shown their support – which puts us just 250 or so off being the most-supported suggestion.
My colleague Tara is going to the Home office tomorrow to talk to them about control orders and other concerns with UK counter-terrorism, like 28 days pre-charge detention and deportation to countries that use torture under ‘memoranda of understanding’. It’s part of the government’s new review of all counter-terrorism legislation. We’re really hoping that with this show of public support we can influence the government to scrap the control order regime.
It’s not too late to take action now.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.