Government ‘buries’ UN criticism of Terrorism Bill
London , UK, January 11 – Despite being warned in late November 2005 by Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, that proposed anti-terror legislation posed grave challenges to human rights and risked breaking international treaties, the UK government has only just made the advice public.
Ms Arbour criticised the government's definition of terrorism, the 'glorification' offence, the proposed proscription of non-violent Islamic organisations and the extension of pre-charge detention to 28 days. In her letter, Ms Arbour wrote that parts of the Terrorism Bill "could pose grave challenges to effective human rights protection and set worrying precedents in the global struggle against terrorism."
Dr Imran Waheed, a media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, said, "The government's indifference to Ms Arbour's advice suggests that talk of human rights, freedom and democracy is merely a smokescreen to hide the interests of western governments in the Muslim world. Ms Arbour's criticisms come in the wake of the report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights that makes many similar criticisms. The Association of Chief Police Officers and the Home Office's own taskforce on extremism have stated their opposition to these measures."
"In addition, although the Government has claimed that these proposals have the support of the Muslim community, almost every major Muslim organisation has stated their opposition to them. Over 180 leading organisations and personalities including town councillors, lawyers, imams and community leaders have signed a statement against these laws and tens of thousands demonstrated in December against these draconian measures."