Liberty response to Sajid Javid speech: Terror ban is crude and draconian

20 May 2019

In response to proposals made by Sajid Javid in a speech today to criminalise travel to areas the Home Secretary designates, carrying a heavy penalty of up to a decade in prison, Rosalind Comyn, Liberty Policy and Campaigns officer, said:

“This offence is crude and draconian. Criminalising the mere act of being in a particular place reflects an attempt to sidestep the basic principles of the criminal law, in circumstances where there is insufficient evidence to prosecute people for genuine terrorist activity.

“It risks criminalising people visiting their families, as well as those conducting research or documenting human rights abuses.

"Worryingly, it may also sweep up vulnerable people – including children – who have been coerced into travelling, are unable to leave an area, or are simply unaware an area has been designated.

"The Home Secretary should reconsider his decision to deploy these dangerous and ill-advised powers.”