14 October 2013 — Liberty
At Liberty we’ve long argued that Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is ripe for misuse and discrimination.
The power allows for people to be detained for nine hours, fingerprinted, strip searched and asked questions without a right of access to a lawyer. It can be exercised without the need for any grounds to suspect the person is involved in terrorism, or any other criminal activity. This means it can be used against anyone a police, immigration or customs officer chooses and has been used disproportionately against those of Asian origin.
An amendment to the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, which would scrap Schedule 7 altogether, is listed for debate in the House of Commons tomorrow. It’s amendment #148.
We are also fighting this power in the courts.
Liberty’s client was detained in November 2010 after he had flown back to Heathrow via Bahrain. He was detained for more than four hours. He was interrogated about his salary, voting habits and the costs of his Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Officers went through his possessions with a fine tooth comb, made copies of his credit cards, and took his mobile phone and SIM cards. This man had never in his life been arrested or detained by the police.