The detention of David Miranda is just a series in a long line of people that have been abused by what is called Schedule 7. IHRC has long campaigned against this legislation. Muslims are routinely stopped at airports, held, questioned, intimidated and scared into giving information to security personnel with threats of imprisonment if they refuse to answer.
IHRC has flagged up the issue of the abuse and misuse of powers. Chair of IHRC, Massoud Shadjareh, sits on the Schedule 7 Accountability Board and was also a victim of Schedule 7 at Heathrow airport.
IHRC has released a ‘know your rights’, advice, informing people of their rights under the Schedule 7. Our advice shows when police can stop you and what they cannot do. Police cannot ask you to spy on/inform on members of your community – the Act exists to stop terrorism not as a recruitment tool for police. Police cannot use force when questioning you. Police cannot take your DNA, fingerprints or intimate samples without your permission.
IHRC in response to the Home Office Consultation paper forwarded recommendations after consulting with members of the public. One of the things that IHRC told the home office was that individuals were routinely asked how many times they pray, what mosque they go to and who they voted for, which has nothing to do with tackling terrorism.
Chair of IHRC, Massoud Shadjareh, “As a victim of schedule 7, I can attest to the officers lack of training and knowledge on the legislation. The irrelevant questions asked to individuals that have no impact on national security show a systematic failure of the legislation and a deliberate misuse of it by officers. The David Miranda case has highlighted the total abuse of powers by the authorities. He is obviously not a terrorist, but this action was politically motivated and the UK authorities used whatever powers they had to get the information they needed. There needs to be an independent investigation into the misuse of the Schedule 7 legislation. ”
Notes to editors
IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Telephone: (+44) 20 8904 4222