MAB: No to Clarke’s house arrest plans

MAB logoThe Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) strongly opposes the plans Home Secretary Charles Clarke intends to announce today to place certain individuals suspected of terrorism under house arrest. The measures are aimed at saving the face of the government and delivering it out of a predicament caused by illegally detaining suspects without trial for prolonged periods of time.

MAB believes that those suspected of offences should be brought before a court of law. If the eleven suspects held at Belmarsh prison cannot be tried in a court of law for lack of evidence then they are innocent until proven otherwise and should not be punished by incarcerating them in any way.

Ahmed Al-Shiekh, President of MAB commented today: “The idea of putting suspects under house arrest while no evidence has been brought against them is simply a violation of a basic value of democracy and a serious encroachment on their human rights. “If adopted, these measures will constitute a dangerous precedent. They will grant powers to the executive at the expense of the judiciary and will therefore compromise the carriage of justice. “MAB calls for the immediate release of every detainee suspected of terrorism so long as the government has no sufficient evidence to try him before a court of law”.

As the election is approaching MAB intends to call on the public to consider this issue, which is an issue of civil liberties and human rights, to be a priority according to which candidates are assessed for eligibility. Therefore, sitting members of parliament are urged to oppose the proposed plans and deny the government the opportunity to undermine the rule of law and the role of the judiciary.

MAB press release, 22 February 2005