Socialist Worker

New push to attack rights on detention

Issue No. 2097

Gordon Brown’s government is pushing ahead with plans to extend the period that people can be held without charge.

Home secretary Jacqui Smith claimed last week that the terror threat to Britain was “severe” and “growing” and that a 42-day detention limit was required as a result.

Detention without trial is 48 hours in the US and seven and a half days in Turkey, yet Labour wants to hold people for six weeks.

This is not about stopping terrorism but about attacking basic civil rights.

The push for longer internment without trial is creating divisions even at the top of the government.

Tony Blair suffered his first Commons defeat when 51 Labour MPs rejected his proposal for a 90-day limit in 2005.

Brown could be defeated if Labour MPs who are against the change vote with their principles.

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Tue 15 Apr 2008, 19:24 BST
Issue No. 2097
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