February 28, 2013

You do not have the right to remain silent

I didn't know about this Terrorism Act 2000 until just now.  Someone sent me this link to an article on Corporate Watch about the application of Schedule 7 of the Act.

Corporate Watch is subtitled, Tracking Corporate Complicity in the Occupation of Palestine.

Now, have a look at this Schedule 7 as it has been applied in the cases of two people involved in research into corporate profiteering in occupied Palestine and the occupied Syrian Golan:
In February 2013, Tom and Therezia returned from a research trip in Palestine separately, with a 10-day gap separating their arrival back in the UK. They were both stopped at Luton airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. As the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) has previously reported, this law is frequently used by the police to gather intelligence about activists. Schedule 7 is unique in that it is a law that provides the police with the power to stop, search and detain people without suspicion. It is also an arrestable offence not to answer questions, punishable on conviction with a three-month custodial sentence or a fine. Moreover, you have no right to advice from your solicitor, although you are often granted a phone call to your solicitor on request. The guidance to the law clearly states that Schedule 7 “should only be used to counter terrorism and may not be used for any other purpose.” (For the full wording of the Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) Practice Advice on Schedule 7, see here).

Did you see that?  You do not have the right to remain silent.  The whole article is worth reading to show how this law has been applied in the cases of these two activists for reasons wholly unconnected to terrorism.

By the way, I looked up this law on Wikipedia and it doesn't mention this Schedule 7.  Any wikipediasts out there?

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