Islamic Human Rights Commission
DATE 11 June 2008
PRESS RELEASE: UK – Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) Makes an Oral Statement at Human Rights Council, United Nations Regarding Pre-Trial Detention in Britain
IHRC has made an oral intervention at the Human Rights Council UN in Geneva on the extension of pre-trial detention from 28 days to 42 days.
IHRC is deeply concerned with the proposed pre-trial detention period of 42 days. IHRC added this voice alongside a number of other country representatives. We are urging the government to refrain from this unnecessary and damaging policy which may lead to discrimination towards the Muslim community. IHRC is also concerned with the current laws regarding reporting of suspects before the trial has begun, in that the media has the opportunity to defame the individual(s) making a fair trial impossible.
IHRC Chair Massoud Shadjareh commented:
“This is gravely eroding our civil liberties. On what evidence the government has chosen this ‘magical’ number of 42? In the past we did not need to use anything more than 28 days.”
IHRC strongly believes the extension of the proposed pre-trial detention period from 28 days to 42 days will be unnecessary and lead to further discrimination of the Muslim community.
The full copy of the oral statement made at the Human Rights Council UN is below:
Human Rights Council.
8th Session. 10 June. 2008.
Item: 6. UPR- Country – Britain.
Individual Oral Statement- Islamic Human Rights Commission.
Mr President I would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate the Council on the conclusions and the recommendations that have been forwarded. Indeed they reflect many of our own concerns. In particular we believe that secure society cannot be built on compromising on due process on human rights and civil rights. As recommended we are also deeply concerned with the ever increasing time of pre-charge and pre-trial detention. We have raised this issue at various times with the government of UK in a variety of consultations. We are especially concerned since tomorrow the bill is presented before the UK Parliament to increase pre-charge detention from 28 days to 42 days. The need for this has never been identified, and indeed Britain already has the longest pre- charge detention limit in a liberal democracy. We would like to once again urge the British government to refrain from this unnecessary damaging policy. We also would like to recommend reviewing the anti-terrorism law in the light of the highest human rights standards and indeed we are concerned with the implementation of anti terror laws which has resulted in racism and religious profiling which is evident in disproportional in the stop and search statistics.
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The Islamic Human Rights Commission is an NGO in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
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Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations