THE US and Britain are trying to present themselves as the champions of freedom and democracy as they threaten war on Iraq. But both countries are locking people up indefinitely without charge and denying them any right to protest.
A US federal judge ruled last week that the government could stop the men detained in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba from having a trial in the US. Lawyers for two British men and one Australian had tried to ensure the men could at least have access to the US judicial system. But the men will face military courts.
The New Labour government’s laws against ‘terrorism’, rushed through parliament last year, were exposed by a court last week. Some 11 people have been detained without trial or any evidence against them under the laws.
A court ruled last week that the government’s Anti-Terror, Crime and Security Act was ‘not only discriminatory and so unlawful, but also it is disproportionate’.
The special tribunal said Blunkett’s internment laws were unfair because they solely targeted foreign nationals. One of those imprisoned is Mahmoud Abu Rideh, a 30 year old Palestinian, who is now seriously ill in Broadmoor high security prison.
He is confined to a wheelchair, suffering from severe mental illness and now at risk of dying after a three-month hunger strike against his confinement. New Labour has ignored Amnesty International’s pleas to free him and the other men. The government is insisting on keeping them locked up while they appeal against the ruling.
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