Amnesty blasts UK’s ‘war on terror’ policies
London: In a damning report, human rights watchdog Amnesty International blasted Britain for "draconian actions" in the name of security such as army abuses in Iraq and long detentions of terror suspects, while warning against deporting foreign detainees to countries that are known to use torture.
The 83-page report exposing the damaging effect of Britain’s anti-terrorism policies on human rights, accused the government of trying to circumvent its obligations in relation to abuses committed by its armed forces in Iraq. It flayed the government for its "Kafkaesque" practice of detaining foreign terrorist suspects for years on the basis of secret evidence.
After the Law Lords ruled that the detention was discriminatory and incompatible with the right to liberty, the government, instead of releasing them, enacted legislation allowing the issue of "control orders" to restrict their liberty, movement and activities, whether they are UK nationals or not, it said. These people are effectively being persecuted, with devastating consequences for the men and their families.
By failing to prosecute these people and instead placing them under "control orders" or seeking to deport them, the UK government is increasing the power of the executive and by-passing the courts, said Irene Khan, Amnesty International Secretary General.
Pointing out there was now "a dangerous imbalance between draconian actions the UK is taking in the name of security and its obligation to protect human rights," she said, these measures "tarnish the UK’s image and its ability to promote human rights abroad."