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Draft Code of Practice for examining officers and review officers under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000

Posted by on 13/06/14 in Latest News, Slider | 0 comments

Draft Code of Practice for examining officers and review officers under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000

13.06.14 On 15.05.14 CAGE had submitted a response to the Home Office’s public consultation on its Draft Code of Practice for officers using Schedule 7 powers. This submission can be found here on Schedule7stories.com (http://schedule7stories.com/cage-suggests-changes-to-schedule-7-code-of-practice/) Subsequently, the Home Office have released their Draft Code Of Practice taking in to account submissions to the public consultation. CAGE would like to reiterate its view that Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 should be repealed due to its discriminatory use against the muslim community to collect mass information and create a climate of fear. However, this was not within the scope of the consultation CAGE therefore recognises that some of our recommendations have been added to this version of the Code of Practice. The amended Code of Practice can be found here (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-code-of-practice-for-examining-officers-and-review-officers-under-schedule-7-to-the-terrorism-act-2000). If you or someone you know has been stopped using Schedule 7 powers at UK ports contact CAGE in order to assist our data collection and continued campaign on the subject. Please email contact@cageuk.org or call +44 (0) 207 377 6700   ...

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UK ‘anti-terror’ law indiscriminate, says rights groups

Posted by on 06/06/14 in Latest News, Slider | 0 comments

UK ‘anti-terror’ law indiscriminate, says rights groups

06 June 2014 Government figures reveal that only about one percent of people questioned under powers that allow police to stop individuals at ports were detained in 2013. More than 46,000 people were stopped at Britain’s ports under Schedule 7 powers, which deem a refusal to answer police officers’ questions a criminal offence, according to figures published by the Home Office on Thursday. The same power was used to stop and detain journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda for nine hours at Heathrow airport. The figures reveal that the stops only resulted in 1.19 percent of people being detained, and out of those only two people were convicted – or 0.0043 percent of those stopped. The London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission expressed “grave concern about the ethnic makeup of those examined and detained,” adding: “It is clear that non-whites are disproportionately and unnecessarily targeted by officers with the power to stop and search under Schedule 7.” According to the figures, 55 percent of those stopped under schedule 7 were non-white, while they make up 14 percent of the population. However, out of those detained under the power, 82 percent were non-white. However, the number of individuals stopped under the power has dropped by 23 percent. ‘Indiscriminate power’ Their religious background is not currently recorded, but rights organizations have argued that Muslims are disproportionally targeted. Overall, there were 222 arrests for terrorism-related offences, which were down on the previous year. A total of 22 people, or 10 percent, were convicted of a terrorism offence. The Islamic Human Rights Commission said that the figures demonstrated “that the vast majority of those subject to arrest are not guilty of any charge. This figure has remained consistent over the years, and thus should be a clear indicator to the government that this is an indiscriminate power”. In April this year, British counter-terrorism officials appealed to Muslim women to persuade their relatives not to travel to Syria. UK Prime Minister David Cameron urged people to contact authorities if they knew of someone planning to travel to the war-torn state. The government has said that it fears people traveling to Syria may become “radicalized” and pose a risk to the UK. There have been several arrests this year relating to individuals traveling to or returning from Syria. Source World...

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Channel 4 Journo Jamal Osman: I am a British citizen – not a second-class citizen

Posted by on 26/05/14 in Latest News, Slider, Stories | 0 comments

Channel 4 Journo Jamal Osman: I am a British citizen – not a second-class citizen

26 May 2014 Coming through passport control is an ordeal, I am followed on the street and hassled by security services. Not all citizens enjoy the same rights. If you are British and think that every British citizen enjoys the same rights, my story and those of thousands of others should convince you otherwise. I arrived in Britain in 1999 having fled the civil war in my home country, Somalia. My asylum application was approved a year later. During that time I was given accommodation and a weekly food voucher worth £35. For this I will always be grateful. As soon as I was permitted to seek employment I started looking for a job. I worked in a laundry, a warehouse and as a taxi driver – simply to survive. Later I trained to become a journalist. I joined Channel 4 News as a reporter, largely covering Africa – a role that required frequent travelling. And that is when my nightmare at the hands of Britain’s security services began. I have been detained, questioned and harassed almost every time I have passed through Heathrow airport. In 10 years, only one of my colleagues has been stopped. During the past five years I have also been repeatedly approached by security services trying to “recruit” me. The incentives they offer range from a “handsome salary” or a “nice car” to a “big house”. I have even been told that they “could help me marry four wives”. I have declined all their offers. Their psychological tactics include telling me how easy it is for them to take away my British passport and destroy my career – and even my life. I have received regular phone calls from people I believe to be Special Branch, who invite me for a “chat over coffee”. “No thanks, I don’t drink coffee,” I reply. As someone who appears on television regularly it is not unusual for strangers to greet you in the street or even ask questions about a particular story you’ve done. But the people who follow me on the street – the spies (I call them “the Vauxhall guys”) – have a different approach. After introducing themselves by their first names they declare their interest. Would I like a chat and a coffee. It won’t take long. Their hunting ground is London’s Victoria station, which I use regularly. I go to the EU and British passport holders’ queue when returning through Heathrow airport; I observe with interest as fellow travellers file smoothly past border control. Yet when I approach, trouble always follows. “Where are you from?”, “How did you obtain a British passport?”, “Have you ever been in trouble with immigration?” I answer all their questions courteously and respectfully until the inevitable happens and the official says: “Take a seat, I will be back.” Returning from my most recent trip, I took my regular seat near the control desk. Half an hour later a grey-suited man sat next to me.”Hello, how are you?” he asked. “Are you from Somalia? I hear from other Somalis that things are improving now. That is what I would like to talk to you about.” I told him that I didn’t particularly want to talk about Somalia and that I just wanted to go home. “Don’t try and be difficult,” he snapped at me. “I’ll detain you if you don’t answer my questions.” And so it continued for another 15 minutes, during which he continued with his threats and with calling me an “idiot” and a “bad person”, claiming “you will die angry and the world would be a...

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David Miranda allowed to appeal against ruling on Heathrow detention

Posted by on 15/05/14 in David Miranda, Latest News, Litagation, Slider | 0 comments

David Miranda allowed to appeal against ruling on Heathrow detention

15.05.14 Partner of former Guardian reporter to challenge high court ruling on legality of his detention under counter-terrorism powers. avid Miranda, partner of the former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, has been granted permission to appeal against a ruling that he was lawfully detained under counter-terrorism powers at Heathrow airport. The case – which also involves a challenge to the police seizure of computer material related to the US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden – will now go to the court of appeal. In February, three high court judges – Lord Justice Laws, Mr Justice Ouseley and Mr Justice Openshaw – concluded that Miranda’s detention at Heathrow under schedule 7 to the Terrorism 2000 Act in last summer was legal, proportionate and did not breach European human rights protections of freedom of expression. The judgment stated that Miranda, a Brazilian national, was stopped in transit between Berlin and Rio de Janeiro after meeting the film-maker Laura Poitras. He had been carrying encrypted files, including an external hard drive containing 58,000 highly classified UK intelligence documents, “in order to assist the journalistic activity of Greenwald”. The Guardian made his travel reservations and paid for the trip. Greenwald had told the court that the security services were well aware the seized material was in connection with journalism and not terrorism. He said there was no evidence to indicate that any disclosure had actually threatened or endangered life or any specific operation. But the high court ruled that Miranda’s nine-hour detention and the seizure of his computer equipment was lawful because although it was “an indirect interference with press freedom”, there was not only compelling but “very pressing” evidence of a risk to national security. During the hearing last November, a Cabinet Office official testified that the release of the GCHQ files Miranda was carrying would be very likely to cause great damage to security and possible loss of life. The judges declined to recognise that the seized files were “journalistic material” and insisted they included stolen raw data that did not warrant any freedom of expression safeguards. One of the grounds for granting permission to appeal was that the supreme court has recently decided to hear a related case, Beghal v DPP, which raises similar issues of whether the schedule 7 powers – under which so called ‘port stops’ are conducted – are compatible with European convention on human rights. Welcoming the decision, his solicitor, Gwendolen Morgan of Bindmans, said: “In giving Mr Miranda’s case the green light, the court of appeal noted the importance of the issues and the compelling legal arguments raised in his case. “We look forward to the appeal being heard as calls for reform of schedule 7 grow alongside concerns around the dangerous conflation of investigative journalism with terrorism which was starkly illustrated by Mr Miranda’s detention.” Source The...

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