Liberty responded today to the new Home Secretary’s claims that identity cards for British citizens will be voluntary. Although the Home Secretary said that ‘holding an identity card should be a personal choice for British citizens’, when applying for a passport details will still be entered on the National Identity Register, the massive database that supports the scheme.
In defiance of recent events, a poll released today by Liberty shows overwhelming support for human rights laws. Despite a week of the Government defending the unjust and unsafe control order system, the Metropolitan police accused of using “waterboarding” techniques with suspects and the BNP winning two European parliament seats, polling reveals that 97% think it is important that there is a law that protects rights and freedoms in the UK.
Today the House of Lords ruled unanimously that the government has violated Article 6 of the Human Rights Act which protects the right to fair trial as ‘controlees’ don’t even receive the gist of the allegations against them. Liberty believes that this is another body blow to the unfair and unsafe control order regime.
Today the Law Lords will once more consider the Kafkaesque procedure for Control Orders. Meanwhile one controlee, Mahmoud Abu Rideh subject to punishment without trial for 7 ½ years, writes a desperate letter to the Prime Minister begging for release from a system that has driven him to mental instability and attempts at suicide;
Liberty is today joining forces with the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the National AIDS Trust to call on Yvette Cooper, the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to reverse James Purnell’s policy of submitting benefit claimants to compulsory drug and alcohol tests.