Commentary on the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill 2001

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While we understand the need to enhance internal security in the aftermath of the 11 September attacks in the United States and in the context of on-going armed conflict in Afghanistan, we are dismayed by U.K. proposals that would permit the arbitrary detention of persons suspected of terrorist activity, as well as the denial of the right to seek asylum, the exclusion, and indefinite detention of certain individuals without adequate safeguards contrary to the 1951 Refugee Convention. Public statements by the Home Secretary suggest that a public emergency was declared in the U.K. to avoid compliance with certain human rights obligations—threatening basic rights in the U.K. and providing a dangerous model for other states.

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