Liberty Director Martha Spurrier has held her first meeting with her counterpart at sister organisation the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory and the passing of the UK’s Snoopers’ Charter.
The meeting in New York saw Martha and Anthony Romero, the ACLU’s Executive Director, discuss the acute threats to rights and freedoms on both sides of the Atlantic.
Following the passing of the Investigatory Powers Bill by Parliament, Bella Sankey, Policy Director for Liberty, said:
"The passage of the Snoopers' Charter through Parliament is a sad day for British liberty. Under the guise of counter-terrorism, the state has achieved totalitarian-style surveillance powers – the most intrusive system of any democracy in human history. It has the ability to indiscriminately hack, intercept, record, and monitor the communications and internet use of the entire population.
In response to Peers voting against Government plans to allow local councils to opt out of over 80 years of child protection legislation, Martha Spurrier, Director of Liberty, said:
“Our child protection laws are the result of a century of learning, public debate and parliamentary scrutiny – but, with no research or proper consultation, this Government has decided they are dispensable.
The Government faces Lords opposition on Monday (31 October) as peers debate its widely criticised attempt to harvest school children’s nationality data – with peers expected to challenge and condemn the policy.
Since September 2016, schools and colleges in England have been required by the Department for Education (DfE) to ask parents if their children are foreign nationals and where they were born.
Ealing, Brighton and Hove and Oxford City Councils are the latest local authorities to throw their support behind the Dubs scheme for unaccompanied refugee children – and to demand the Government urgently provide them with the resources they need to support children arriving in the UK from Calais and beyond.
The UK’s response to the refugee crisis was under the spotlight last night as Liberty recognised campaigners, lawyers and young activists for their commitment to protecting and promoting the rights of others at its annual Human Rights Awards.
The event – hosted by comedian, activist and journalist Mark Thomas – saw the inaugural presentation of the Jo Cox ‘More in Common’ Award.
The House of Lords could take a vital step towards a fair and independent justice system for UK troops today as they debate proposals to bring the three military police forces under the civilian system of police oversight.
An amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill, tabled by Liberal Democrat peers Baroness Jolly and Lord Paddick, would extend the remit of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to include oversight of military police forces – a move for which Liberty, military families and many others have called for years.
The parents of Private Cheryl James and the relatives of the victims and survivors of the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings will be recognised at tomorrow night’s Liberty Human Rights Awards for the decades they have spent fighting for answers.
The ‘Long Walk’ Award recognises those who have spent many years seeking truth and justice. This year’s ceremony will see two presented – to both Des and Doreen James and Justice4the21.
The Royal Military Police (RMP) has formally apologised to the family of Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement for failing to properly investigate the allegation of rape she made two years before taking her own life, following the threat of legal action by the family.
In a statement released today, the RMP – the Army’s internal police force – admits that “mistakes were made” in the investigation and that “Anne-Marie deserved better”.