Tuesday, July 08, 2008

42 days

I have refrained from commenting on the 42 day detention without charge period that the UK House of Commons voted for on 11th June, 2008.

The Independent reports that members of the House of Lords are starting an attack on the
measure today. In addition Liberty have launched a 'say no to 42 days' charge or release campaign.

Of all the news commentary, political excuses etc. I've been through on this, one of the best remains a simple message to the ORG list from a Martin Coxhall the day after our political representatives made such a reprehensible decision:

"Canada - 24 hours
South Africa, New Zealand and Germany - 2 days
Denmark and Norway - 3 days
Italy - 4 days
Russia and Spain - 5 days
France - 6 days
Ireland - 7 days
Turkey - 7.5 days
Australia - 12 days.
USA - 2 days


UK - 42 days."

It is the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR) on 10th December this year. It's hard to imagine the contempt that Eleanor Roosevelt - who lead the UDHR drafting commission and as a direct result of that work became one of the few people in history to receive a standing ovation from the UN General Assembly - would feel for modern politicians on both sides of the pond (the US 2-day pre-charge detention period doesn't apply to Guantanamo Bay) and the damage they have done to civil rights worldwide.

Update: The former head of MI5, Baroness Manningham-Buller has, much to the disgust of government ministers, used her maiden speech in the House of Lords to oppose the 42 day detention without charge period. She said (scroll down to 'column 647'):

"On a matter of principle, I cannot support 42 days’ precharge detention. I don’t see on a practical basis, as well as a principled one, that these proposals are in any way workable."

No comments: