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News Round-Up Week Ending 9.1.15

(Posted on 12/01/15)

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News Round-Up Week Ending 9.1.15

Indefinite Detention is Barbaric.

The civil society alliance Citizens UK is to call for a 28 day time limit on the detention of migrants.

“Britain is the only country in Europe to allow the indefinite detention of migrants – leaving them in a legal limbo condemned as ‘barbaric and abhorrent’ by critics,” Jonathan Owen writes in the Independent.

“Detaining people indefinitely in prison-like conditions without judicial oversight is unjust, ineffective and inhumane,” said Jonathan Clark, the Bishop of Croydon. “That’s why Citizens UK are calling on people of goodwill across the country to join them in taking this issue to their parliamentary candidates.”

“Barbaric and uncivilised, the practice of locking up migrants indefinitely has no place in Britain,” added Eiri Ohtani of Detention Forum.

The Home Office issued a denial: “No one is held in immigration detention indefinitely. Individuals are detained for the shortest period necessary and all detention is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure it remains justified and reasonable.”

Safeguards for Anti-Terrorism Bill

The report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights recommends that the Government insert safeguards into proposed anti-terrorism legislation to protect their human rights. The bill, introduced in November, allows invalidation of a British national’s passport to prevent return to the U.K.

“This gives rise to a very real risk that the human rights of UK nationals will be violated as a result of the imposition of temporary exclusion orders,” the report says. “We are opposed in principle to any exclusion of UK nationals from the UK, even on a temporary basis.”

“Recent events in Paris make clear the challenging times in which we live and the need for government to carry out their function of fighting terrorism and assuring the security of their people,” said Hywel Francis, head of the panel, but he went on to say: “We should never forget that these are exceptional powers which could be mistakenly used against any of us, and in a civilized democracy there must always be processes for subjecting the claims of the state to independent scrutiny. Some of the powers proposed in this bill require extra safeguards so that they are not used unreasonably.”