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Reject the Terrorism Bill Petition

Scotland Against Criminalising Communities
3/11/2005

The petition was launched by Scotland Against Criminalising Communities on 15 October 2005. It is based on a longer statement (“United to Protect Our Rights”) released in August 2005 and supported by a wide range of organisations. The petition is a condensed version of this statement, updated to take account of the government's publication of the Terrorism Bill on 12 October 2005.

To: UK Parliament

We, the undersigned, are filled with fear and horror at the government’s Terrorism Bill. If it becomes law, the Bill will change legal certainties that it was previously believed would stand firm in all circumstances. We are particularly concerned that the government is giving a green light to racism and Islamophobia and signalling a general attack on freedom of expression.

We are resolutely opposed to the extension of pre-charge detention to 90 days (as provided for in the Bill), or indeed to any extension at all of this period. We fear that any such measure is likely to encourage the arrest people of about whom there is no reasonable suspicion. We are appalled at provisions in the Bill that make it a criminal offence to give ‘direct or indirect encouragement’ to, or ‘glorify’ acts of ‘terrorism’ – a term whose meaning has been distorted so that it includes acts of resistance to repressive regimes overseas and even includes acts which don’t involve violence to the person. These provisions will demolish the right of free speech and suppress political debate on some of the most important issues of our time.

We are totally opposed to any steps to remove trial by jury for offences linked to terrorism, to allow the hearing of evidence in secret by judges and special advocates, to deport individuals at risk to regimes known to practise torture, to ban organisations which are not involved in terrorism or violence, or to criminalise imams, bookshops, mosques and organisations for the expression of legitimate religious and political ideas. We believe that the Terrorism Bill is misguided and dangerous from beginning to end, and we urge MPs to reject it.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

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The Reject the Terrorism Bill Petition to UK Parliament was created by Scotland Against Criminalising Communities and written by Richard Haley (humanrightslobby@sacc.org.uk).

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Resources:

Partners in Crime: Europe&#39s role in US renditions

pdf Arming Big Brother: The EU&#39s Security Research Programme

Entitlement to What?

Links:

Fairtrials.org.uk

Stop Political Terror

Statewatch

Campaign Against Criminalising Communities

Anti-Terrorism Legislation

UNITE TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS: sign the statement against the erosion of civil liberties and human rights by new anti-terrorism proposals A Black Manifesto No 2 ID FREE FAROUQ PDP ASSOCIATES Power to the People

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