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8 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I March 2009
Police accused of holding
‘protestor database’
The Met Police force denied force spokesman said, “The Met
holding a database of thousands of Police Public Order Branch does not
campaigners, demonstrators and hold a database of protesters. Officers
political protesters. are required to fill in a report detailing
But according to an investigation their deployment and interactions with
carried out by the Guardian the public during their tour of duty.
newspaper, police are targeting “This is not specific to public order
thousands of protesters in surveillance policing. Details will include vulnerable
operations and storing their details on premises visited and details of anyone
a database for seven years. stopped and searched.
The newspaper said information “The vast majority of people
gathered through the Freedom of attending demonstrations will be of
Information Act, court testimony, an no interest to police - they will only
interview with a senior Metropolitan become of interest to police when
Ferguson, told the newspaper, “A
Police officer and surveillance footage their behaviour leads them to suspect
searchable database containing
revealed police were storing names, that the person may be organising
photographs of people who are not
photographs and video footage of and planning disorder or criminal
even suspected of criminal activity
activists without their knowledge. offences at events.” Liberty, the
may well violate privacy rights under
But the police said information was human rights group, is challenging
article 8 of the Human Rights Act.
only entered on a database where it police surveillance tactics in a judicial
“It is particularly worrying if
was “legally justified” in accordance review at the court of appeal.
peaceful protesters are being singled
with “strict national guidelines.” A Their legal officer, Corinna
out for surveillance.”
UK to imitate Saudi
terrorist rehab program
Britain’s High Court is looking into Sheikh. The Saudi advisory program is
applying the Saudi rehabilitation “ If a terrorist attack takes place supervised by the Saudi Ministry of
program to give counseling to in the U.K., we could benefit from Interior has garnered support and
extremists, according to a press the experience of Saudi Arabia in acclaim from the West, according
report. countering terrorism “ to several reports in the Western
The new program will be modeled Christopher Pitchers”We will need media.
after the munasaha (Arabic for the help of Saudi Arabia,” Pitchers The advisory program is hailed
“advice”) program in which the Saudi was quoted as saying. “However, it by many countries as an extremely
government en rolls repentant terrorists is the British government that should important step that precedes
and returnees from Guantanamo or decide, not the court.” rehabilitation. Repentant extremists
militant camps outside the kingdom, He referred to the positive results stay at hostels that have all the
the London-based newspaper al- the Saudi program has yielded, required medical, psychological, and
Hayat reported Sunday, said especially with respect to terrorist cultural facilities to prepare them to
The program would place an operations.. re-integrate in society and switch to a
Islamic scholar or an imam in each “If a terrorist attack takes place moderate ideology.
prison to provide counseling to inmates in the U.K., we could benefit from Program officials continue to
with extremist ideologies According the experience of Saudi Arabia in follow up with the prisoners after they
to High Court Judge Sir Christopher countering terrorism. We can also are released, and Saudi officials have
Pitchers, who headed a delegation help them if we can. Mutual interest said their approach has been quote
that met with Saudi Minister of Justice is the purpose of this visit to Riyadh,” successful so far.
Abdullah bin Mohammed Ibrahim Al he said.
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