Interrogation Procedures and Antiterrorism Laws of the United Kingdom

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The attrition of human rights by the government policy inclined to fight terrorism developed over decades in relation to the conflict in Northern Ireland, and this was given renewed impetus by the UK’s actions in response to the attacks in the USA on 11 September 2001. Then came the events of 7 and 21 July 2005 in London and its suburbs, when a series of explosions rocked a business-like morning in London.Ever since the 11 September 2001 catastrophe, the UK authorities have passed a series of new laws, even though the UK already had some of the toughest anti-terrorism laws in Europe. These laws contain sweeping provisions that contravene human rights law, and their implementation has led to serious abuses of human rights. The shooting and killing of an innocent man in broad daylight by police officers is a stark reminder of the law and order in the UK today.People suspected of involvement in terrorism who have been detained in the UK under the new laws have found themselves in a Kafkaesque world. They have been held for years in harsh conditions on the basis of secret accusations that they are not allowed to know and therefore cannot refute.After the events of 7 and 21 July 2005 in London, more draconian measures were proposed. These included a new Terrorism Bill currently before Parliament. Some of its most sweeping and vague provisions, if enacted, would undermine the rights to freedom of expression, association, liberty and fair trial (the United Kingdom, Human Rights: a broken promise,, referred on 15.04.2006).1In 1974 when the Irish Troubles once more flared up, the UK government responded with a Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The PTA made it an offense for any individual to belong to a banned group and contained special powers of arrest and detention.After 9/11, however, the Terrorism Act (TA) was hastily augmented by Parliament in the form of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act (ATCSA) in 2001.