Britain's Law Lords Capitulate on Control Orders

posted on November 21, 2007 | in Category International | PermaLink

Original author: Andy Worthington Source: URL: [link] Date: November 2, 2007 Britain's Law Lords Capitulate on Control Orders Guantánamo as House Arrest

Imagine being picked up by the police, taken to a maximum security prison, and held for years -- indefinitely, for all you know -- without being told what it is that you're supposed to have done. Sounds familiar? If you substitute "soldiers" for "the police," it sounds like Guantánamo, or Bagram, or Abu Ghraib. But it's not. It's Belmarsh prison, in south east London. Three years ago, in December 2004, after 17 men, captured and held as described above, had already been imprisoned in Belmarsh for at least three years without charge and without the prospect of a trial, Britain's law lords ruled that this kind of detention was in breach of human rights law. In response, the government introduced a new form of detention without charge or trial. Under the control orders introduced in spring 2005, the eleven Belmarsh prisoners who were still in detention were allowed to return home, but were subjected to a range of measures which severely restricted their liberty.

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