Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Amnesty to Labour MP's - 42 day vote a 'watershed'

. Amnesty Internationals Director Kate Allen has written to Labour backbenchers urging them not to cave-in to government pressure to support plans to extend the detention without charge limit to 42 days. She described the vote tomorrow as a 'watershed moment for human rights in the UK'. She writes;

"I urge you to stand in support of principles that lie at the heart of our society, principles such as justice and liberty.

The alternative is to succumb to the climate of fear that terrorists seek to breed among us.


I urge you to oppose any further extension of pre-charge detention."

She acknowledges the threat that Britain faces and the "obligation to act to protect people from terrorism." But, quite rightly, says;

"unless governments respond to the threat of international terrorism with measures that are fully grounded in respect for human rights, they risk undermining the values they seek to protect and defend."

The sentiments in this letter are totally correct. They are a watershed in the continuing battle to preserve ideals like liberty and freedom against a Labour government which is expanding state powers of invasion to dramatic and unjustified levels. Labour MP's face a difficult choice; if they do vote against the plans and defeat the government then it will send it spiralling off into further crisis but on the other surely liberty and freedom matter more than the fortunes of any one individual party. It is to be hoped they will make the correct stand tomorrow.

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