Rant of the day #4: Prevention of Terrorism Bill

The Home Office published their Prevention of Terrorism Bill today.

I know it’s only a coupla days ago that I watched Cry Freedom, but it’s so reminiscent of apartheid’s Internal Security Act and its concept of “banned people” (such as Donald Woods, though I really need to expand that article). Look at these provisions, which are implemented on a politician’s say-so, not a court’s!:

s1(3) The obligations that may be imposed by a control order on the controlled person include, in particular—

  1. a prohibition or restriction on his possession or use of specified articles or substances;
  2. a prohibition or restriction on his use of specified services or specified facilities, or on his carrying on specified activities;
  3. a restriction in respect of his work or other occupation, or in respect of his business;
  4. a restriction on his association or communications with specified persons or with other persons generally;
  5. a restriction in respect of his place of residence or on the persons to whom he gives access to his place of
    residence;
  6. a prohibition on his being at specified places or within a specified area at specified times or on specified
    days;
  7. a prohibition or restriction on his movements to, from or within the United Kingdom, a specified part of the
    United Kingdom or a specified place or area within the United Kingdom;
  8. a requirement on him to comply with such other prohibitions or restrictions on his movements as may be imposed,
    for a period not exceeding 24 hours, by directions given to him in the specified manner, by a specified person
    and for the purpose of securing compliance with other obligations imposed by or under the order;
  9. a requirement on him to surrender his passport, or anything in his possession to which a prohibition or
    restriction imposed by the order relates, to a specified person for a period not exceeding the period for which
    the order remains in force;
  10. a requirement on him to give access to specified persons to his place of residence or to other premises to which
    he has power to grant access;
  11. a requirement on him to allow specified persons to search that place or any such premises for the purpose of
    ascertaining whether obligations imposed by or under the order have been, are being or are about to be
    contravened;
  12. a requirement on him to allow specified persons, either for that purpose or for the purpose of securing that the
    order is complied with, to remove anything found in that place or on any such premises and to subject it to tests
    or to retain it for a period not exceeding the period for which the order remains in force;
  13. a requirement on him to co-operate with specified arrangements for enabling his movements, communications or
    other activities to be monitored by electronic or other means;
  14. a requirement on him to comply with a demand made in the specified manner to provide information to a specified
    person in accordance with the demand;
  15. a requirement on him to report to a specified person at specified times and places.

Ok, so there are some parts of it that have been improved since it was first floated, but if a suspect can appeal to a court immediately after being put under a control order, what’s wrong with requiring it immediately beforehand, ffs?

I’m not enamored by the prospect of intercept evidence being adduced in British courts but, frankly, it’s not fucked up other Western democracies and if it stops the arbitrary suspension of habeas corpus, it has to be worth a try. If France can do it without endangering the DST, surely we can find a way of not endangering MI5?

Though it pisses me off when people start saying that it’d be the first time when British subjects citizens could be confined without trial. Aside from completely missing the whole point of the term Star Chamber, are they not aware of all the shit we did to Ireland between Cromwell and the Saorstát?

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Ymatebwch

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