Late Detention

Lots of debate today inside and outside Parliament over how long the UK should be able to detain people without charge, following a proposed Counter-Terrorism Bill listed in the Queens Speech (which contained no mention of a detention limit but the speculations started anyway).

John Humphries gave the Home Secretary a good grilling on it this morning on Today, repeatedly pointing out that there has been no instance where more than 28 days has been needed. Magnus Linklater is similarly exercised in The Times, warning against a slippery slope where Every time a small support is knocked away from our civil rights legislation, it becomes that much more possible to contemplate the next one. The UK Liberty blog draws attention to lawyer Gareth Peirces point that the police arent fully using the time that is available to them she observes that its often two days after their arrest before terrorist suspects are even questioned.

Meanwhile the EU has issued a critical report on Turkey, noting that its appalling Article 301, which allows writers to be prosecuted for peaceful free speech is a barrier to EU entry. On a positive note, the BBC reports that the law is due to be amended in the next few days. As it should be. Im particularly interested in Turkey at the moment, having been to visit my colleagues in the Istanbul office who continue to fight the good fight despite some pretty crazy obstacles (bank accounts being frozen, fundraisers confronted by anti-terrorist police, etc).

Finally, theres also news today that a Brit has been arrested in Ghana for being gay (or technically for unnatural carnal knowlege, says Queerty.com). Its deeply sad when consenting sex between two adults is turned into a crime.

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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.
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