European Court of Human Rights Protects UK Citizens From Their Own Police

Thank you Euro chums & Kevin Gillan and Pennie Quinton & Liberty who have persevered and achieved this victory-

Police stop and search powers under UK terrorism laws have been declared illegal by human rights judges after two Londoners questioned their legality. The right to question people without grounds for suspicion – granted by the Terrorism Act of 2000 – violates the Human Rights Convention, said the European Court of Human Rights.

The ruling came in a case brought by two Londoners who were stopped and questioned by police near an arms fair in the city in 2003. Kevin Gillan and Pennie Quinton were both searched on the same day in the area of the Defence Systems and Equipment International Exhibition at the Excel Centre in Docklands, where there had already been protests and demonstrations. Nothing incriminating was found on either of them and they went to court questioning the legality of stop and search powers. The High Court and the Court of Appeal said the powers were legitimate given the risk of terrorism in London. But the human rights court disagreed.

The Home Office called it ‘disappointing‘ and I would guess the fuzz will keep stopping and searching as most people have neither the time, money or determination to challenge each stop and the plod will come up with some arcane justification for their illegal activity, y’know, as usual.

Section 44 is supposed to give the police the powers to search for “articles of a kind which could be used in connection with terrorism” in a designated area renewable every 28 days. But since it came into force in 2001 it has been widely used against anti-war and anti-globalisation protesters, photographers and even Japanese tourists. More than 117,000 searches took place under the powers in 2008 and the European judges drew special attention to the statistics showing black and Asian people were at least four times more likely to be stopped.

Posted in Authoritarianism, Human Rights, Racism. Tags: , , . Comments Off on European Court of Human Rights Protects UK Citizens From Their Own Police
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