UK: Secretary General of the Council of Europe, calls for immediate repeal of UK anti-terror law

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Strasbourg, 22.12.2004 - "The anti-terrorism legislation in the United Kingdom must be changed as a matter of urgency. We will not win the fight against terrorism if we undermine the foundations of our democratic societies," Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, stressed today following last week's judgment of the British House of Lords which found the country's anti-terrorism law to be incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

"I welcome the judgment of the House of Lords of 16 December. However, it is not a new development. A year ago, the special committee of nine Privy Counsellors reported unanimously that the law should be urgently replaced. The committee had been specifically established by the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, and had spent more than a year taking evidence from a wide range of people, including the Home Office experts, MI5, MI6 and Special Branch. If the government had not chosen to ignore this unanimous recommendation, they would not have the current embarrassment of having lost this case in the House of Lords," said Mr Davis.See House of Lords: Full-text of judgement (pdf)

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