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UK: Home Secretary's proposal fails to provide justice

Charles Clarke announced that detaining foreign "terror" suspects without trial will be replaced by restrictions on movement and communication, in some cases amounting to house arrest. The proposed new measures will also apply to UK citizens.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

"However he puts it, the Home Secretary is giving himself the power to place anyone in the UK under house arrest, without charge or trial, based on secret evidence – UK citizens included.

"The government is still sidestepping the law courts, still detaining people on secret evidence – only people will now be detained in their homes rather than at Belmarsh prison.

"The Home Secretary should show some faith in the justice system. If someone has done something wrong, charge them and give them a fair trial. Locking them in their homes is not the alternative.

"Under Part 4 of ATCSA, 12 people continue to be deprived of their liberty without being charged with any identifiable criminal offence. Today's statement by the UK Home Secretary may alleviate the conditions they are under, but it falls short of doing them justice."

Amnesty International also expressed deep concern over the proposal that some of the foreign detainees may be deported.

Kate Allen said:

"The UK government must adhere to its international obligations not to forcibly return anyone to any country where they may face serious human rights violations, including unfair trial, ill-treatment, torture, or execution."

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