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Aug 192013
 

No.

Anyone who thinks so needs to read a bit of history on what life was like in real police states.

But on a day when news of an incident where a journalist was detained for 9 hours and his electronic media confiscated, we do have to ask ourselves whether we are headed in that direction. And whether we really want to go in that direction.

David Miranda was held under anti-terrorist legislation – specifically schedule 7 – in what was clearly an attempt at harassment for publishing stories embarrassing the UK and US governments. Now the victim here is clearly a journalist, and whilst it is possible for a journalist to be involved in terrorism, I really rather doubt this one has time to be particularly active at this time. This is a high profile case, but how many of the 61,145 other suspects detained under schedule 7 last year were detained for non-terrorism purposes?

Anti-terrorism legislation is very powerful, and whilst it may be justified to tackle terrorism, it certainly must not be used for other purposes. And in this case it was.

And undoubtedly we will have some sort of review of the case, a lot of noise, and very little action. It’s almost certain that the police who detained David Miranda will escape scot free, or with a notional slap on the wrist, and not with a prison sentence that they deserve.

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