Gareth Peirce

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During the past week academic institutions have expressed contrition at past links with Libya and parliament has debated whether control order legislation should continue. Yet there has been total silence as to why it was that Libyan dissidents came to form a significant block of those made subject to control orders, and to a second highly contentious measure: deportation to a country that practised torture.

Following the bombings in London on 7 July 2005, known within a day to have been carried out by young British nationals, Tony Blair said: "The rules of the game have changed." Within weeks he had initiated an agreement with Colonel Gaddafi on the deportation of Libyan dissidents who had sought asylum and whose presence, he claimed, constituted one of the gravest threats to the security of this country.…  Seguir leyendo »

Last week an Old Bailey jury stood up to be counted and acquitted a young Muslim, Cerie Bullivant, of seven charges under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005. However, he is still having to conduct his life under the non-criminal control-order regime. Were you to be issued with such an order, you would know only that it is asserted that you are suspected of involvement in terrorism. Any evidence remains secret. Your pattern of existence would be instantly recognisable to former victims of house arrest in apartheid South Africa: intrusive obligations dominate your life and that of your family. Any breach - being late in daily reporting at a police station, or failing to make a monitoring call in the night - becomes triable before a jury as a terrorism-related crime.…  Seguir leyendo »