Do “Suspects” Have Rights?

These days the easiest way to deny a person his rights is to raise the red flag of “terrorism” in his direction. Once authorities have classified someone as a “suspect” in anything related to “terrorism” the chances of rights being respected drop dramatically. However, in the United Kingdom, Lord Justice Laws agreed with Justice Owen who held a person could not be denied bail solely on the basis of secret evidence. Both justices held terror suspects must b e given sufficient material to enable them to answer effectively the case being made against them. They ruled it was “impossible” to conclude that “in bail cases a less stringent procedural standard is required (than in control order cases.)” They also ruled that decisions by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission which deals with terror supsect cases are immune from judicial review.

A student, only identified as “XC” was arrested in April and then later released only once again to be arrested on grounds that he was a “threat to national security.” The government has cited emails as the basis of their concern although no evidence has been found linking XC to any explosives or materials that could be used for terrorist activities.

It stands to reason and the basic principles of democracy that government should tell someone why they are being arrested.

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