Press Statement - Birnberg Peirce & Partners Solicitors

This morning a number of individuals we represent were taken from their addresses. All of these were individuals whom the Home Office had agreed were appropriate to be granted bail. We were not notified by the Home Office of these arrests. Those who have families contacted us immediately through their families. So far as those who do not, we have been forced to speculate; one single man we know was seized from the psychiatric hospital where he has been an inpatient since his release from detention under the discredited 2001 Anti Terrorism Crime and Security Act. Of those likely to have been arrested today, five are the subject of serious psychiatric concern as a result of the damage each was caused by his previous indefinite detention. Despite the Home Office knowing that those individuals were legally represented, and by whom, we were provided with no information for hours as to their identity, since when all the individuals have disappeared. No legal access has been provided. Some families were told that they were being taken to Woodhill prison. We were refused all access by Woodhill prison and now understand informally that the individuals taken there have been moved again, possibly separately to destinations unknown. This is the precise scenario of arrest and thereafter depravation of access to lawyers that occurred for the same men when they were seized in December 2001. The Home Office undertook then that the same would never happen again.