CIVIL LIBERTY ISSUES
300 people have been arrested under Britain's anti-terrorism acts since
September 11th 2001. Little over 40 of them have been charged - mostly with
immigration offences - and only three have been convicted. None of these
three were linked to terrorism yet most of the people arrested have
Campaigners also point to the fact that "suspected terrorists" can be detained without being charged with any criminal offence; that they can be held indefinitely; are confined in the highest security prisons and treated as highly dangerous and a security risk; were initially denied access to legal representation; and cannot have a fair trial because they do not know the evidence against them. The new law has also often been used against those already in prison.
The treatment of those inside the prison has been poor. Amnesty International reports that one detainee was disciplined for cutting his hair, one for refusing to stop in the middle of a prayer when interrupted by a guard. One could not even call his mother abroad, even though his father had just died.