London – In the wake of Home Secretary Theresa May’s announcement of a raft of new anti-terrorism laws, CAGE has spoken exclusively to a former TPIM detainee who was forced to relocate under UK counter-terrorism policy.

(CC image courtesy of foreignoffice on Flickr, cropped image)

“They are punishing you without showing you the evidence that they have because it is all in their secret courts system,” says detainee CE, “but really it is not just a punishment against the person – it is collective punishment against the whole family.”

“I can understand if they want to investigate someone, but at least don’t destroy our lives in the process. My business went completely down the drain; I lost all of my customers. My business provided for my parents and my grandmother, so the decision ended up impacting on three or four families.”

May’s announcement of a raft of new anti-terrorism laws include tightening TPIMs and bringing back forced relocation. This only provides more of the same in a counter-terrorism effort that has so far proven ineffective.

“Theresa May announced nothing new, rather it is simply either the solidification of certain instruments by statute or bringing back powers such as forced relocation that were deemed excessive and abusive,” said CAGE Research Director Asim Qureshi.

Besides bringing back forced relocation, the laws will also allow government to force internet firms to hand details to police identifying who was using a computer or mobile phone at a given time. [1]
May even said these new powers are not enough, citing the need for a Communications Data Bill, which will allow even more wide-ranging web monitoring powers to be enacted. [2]

This is clear evidence that the state apparatus is taking advantage of a climate of fear that has been created in the wake of the Woolwich enquiry [3], and around the purported threat of violence from British fighters returning from Syria, when CAGE has established that there is no empirical evidence of such a threat. [4]

Instead the government is launching a direct attack on civil liberties that targets Muslim communities but has the capacity to be extended to other sectors of British society.

CAGE has the following concerns:

“The UK government is attempting to take advantage of the current security climate in order to justify bringing into legislation those policies which so far have already been operating arbitrarily against Muslim communities,” says Qureshi.

“Regardless of the mechanism, the chief complaint against a secret evidence system will continue to be of primary concern to those affected.
The idea that PREVENT and CHANNEL will somehow work where other counter-terrorism measures is unproven, and further, the use of these tools has so far only resulted in the Muslim community becoming increasingly disengaged from UK counter-terrorism policy.”

“If the British government is serious about stopping any forms of political violence, it must be serious about the root causes of the disenfranchisement that allows for such violence. Without doing so, the narrative of political violence will never shift.”



[2] Ibid
Contact:            Mr Amandla Thomas-Johnson
Phone:              +(44) 207 377 6700

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)