End detention without trial sign now

We, the undersigned, welcome the historic ruling of the UK Law Lords on 16th December 2004, granting the appeal of nine men detained without charge or trial at HMP Belmarsh and elsewhere under Part IV of the UK's Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. We note that in order to apply this law Britain has had to derogate from the part of the European Convention on Human Rights that prohibits arbitrary imprisonment and we welcome the decision by the Law Lords that this derogation is unjustifiable.

We ask the British Parliament to repeal the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, and especially to repeal the powers of detention contained in Part IV of the Act. We also ask Parliament to ensure that all legislation complies, fully and without derogation, with the European Convention on Human Rights; to respect the ancient right of habeas corpus and the principle of innocent until proven guilty; and to ensure that individuals can only be deprived of their liberty as a result of a fair and open trial in a properly constituted court. We note with concern that the present detention powers have been targeted against the Muslim community, and that the new powers proposed by the Home Secretary are expected to be similarly targeted. We ask Parliament to ensure that legislation is free of explicit or implicit discrimination. On the basis of these principles, we ask Parliament to reject the Executive Control Orders proposed recently by the Home Secretary.

We further ask HM Government to respect the rights of all the men who, without charge or trial, have been certificated as suspected international terrorists under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. In particular, we ask HM Government to respect their right to liberty and to freedom from persecution by arranging for their immediate release from detention and by desisting from efforts to arrange their deportation. We ask that if any evidence of criminal acts by these men exists, it should be heard in an open court."

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Marcus ProctorBy:
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