UK Anti-Terrorism Laws: Fresh Call for Repeal of Emergency Internment Powers

The system permits potentially indefinite detention on the basis of secret 'evidence' and allows the use of 'evidence' extracted under torture.

Amnesty International made the fresh call after the Privy Counsellor Review Committee's report on the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCSA) was presented today to Parliament.

Among other things, in this report, the Privy Counsellors 'strongly recommend that the powers which allow foreign nationals to be detained potentially indefinitely should be replaced as a matter of urgency', and that they should be replaced with measures that do 'not require a derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights'.

Amnesty International too has recommended that the UK Government repeal the powers in Part 4 of the ATCSA under which foreign nationals can be detained indefinitely without charge or trial.

The organisation awaits urgently a detailed and considered response from the UK Government to the concerns and recommendations outlined in its report United Kingdom: Justice perverted under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, issued on 11 December 2003.

On 19 December six of the 14 individuals currently held under the ATCSA powers will have been detained without charge or trial for two years.

Background

In April 2002, the UK Home Secretary charged nine Privy Counsellors with reviewing the ATCSA and reporting to the UK authorities.

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