No to British government plans for detention without charge


This video from Britain is called NO to 42 days: Vivienne Westwood, Riz Ahmed, Shami Chakrabarti.

Shami Chakrabarti is director of Liberty. She writes in British daily The Guardian:

Law and principle are lost in the crazy politics of 42 days

Detention without charge tramples rights won over centuries. Labour MPs must resist prolonging it just for party posturing

Friday June 6 2008

Who would be a Labour MP this week? After brutal whipping and endless spin about “toughing it out” while “offering concessions”, it still boils down to this. Is it right, or necessary, or productive to our safety, to detain a suspected person for six weeks without charge – without knowing what they are accused of?

Some view this as a trial of political machismo. Liberty does not. Political parties play a part in democracy, but I respect the conscience, courage and conviction of individual parliamentarians more. I will always regret the crazy politics that “42 days” has become and our inability – despite endless efforts – to persuade the Brown government towards a break with the recent past.

Liberty colleagues have had discussions with Labour MPs who have been thoughtful in their engagement. My confidence is such that I believe on a free vote in the Commons, the 42-day measure would be easily defeated. But at the fag end of the misnamed, misjudged “war on terror”, abortion time limits are left to the conscience and detention time limits are not. The margin will be tight.

See also, 13 June 2008: here.

David Davis and civil liberties: here. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here.

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