Socialist Worker

What’s behind new 'anti-terror' laws?

Saghir Hussain, criminal lawyer and civil rights campaigner with Stop Political Terror, spoke to Socialist Worker about the real agenda that lies behind New Labour’s "anti-terror" plans.

Issue No. 1941

A lot of the evidence the issuing of control orders will be based on is inaccurate. Secret evidence is being used to put people in Belmarsh, or to make them subject to control orders.

The government knows very well that not only was this secret evidence obtained under torture, but also that it is inaccurate information. This raises questions about the government’s motives—and their motives must be connected with their foreign policy.

It defies belief that the Labour Party and the labour movement are involved in all this. The biggest shame is that it is Labour subjecting us to this. This should be the final nail in the coffin for the involvement of the wider labour movement with the Labour Party.

There was a clear defeat for the government in the House of Lords, when the Law Lords condemned detention without trial, but now Labour has turned back to the negative.

Now detention powers will not just affect a handful of foreign nationals, but up to two million people in the Muslim community.

When I was growing up, my point of reference was the regime of general Zia-ul-Haq in Pakistan. There was always embarrassment at the tinpot dictatorship’s policies, such as the use of house arrest against ideological opponents.

Now, 20 years later, I’m living in a country where the same thing is happening.

It’s amazing that a Labour government is willing to undermine hundreds of years of legal tradition under which people are presumed innocent until proven guilty. One wonders if there’s a racial aspect as well.

The fact that this is going through parliament so easily raises questions about the motives of the parliamentarians. They have left their critical faculties at home.

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Sat 5 Mar 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1941
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