UK to outline changes in controversial terrorism laws

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

LONDON - The British Government is to outline a controversial reform of control orders for terrorism suspects, following a review of security laws.

Home Secretary Theresa May is expected to announce significant changes, and coalition ally - the Liberal Democrats - are particularly anxious about the laws being tightened too much, reports Sky News.

The party’s leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg campaigned ahead of the general election on a pledge to competely scrap control orders.

Described as being akin to house arrest by critics, the existing measures are likely to be replaced with “surveillance orders”.

It is expected that the system of curfews will be eased, along with restrictions on the use of mobile phones and computers, but some controls are likely to be kept for a small number of individuals.

Introduced in 2005, around 45 people have been subject to the orders - including eight currently.

The Control Orders are designed for suspects who cannot be deported or for whom evidence is too sensitive.

Access to the Internet and phone conversations can be monitored under the orders, which also involve curfews.t is understood the revised measures could include concessions over pastoral care, education and work.

May is reported to have come under pressure from senior police ver the reforms

Labour home affairs spokeswoman Yvette Cooper warned the government not to make the matter a political issue.

The crucial question remains whether suspects are to be brought within the criminal justice system or branded criminals by executive order and left under permanent suspicion and restriction in the community. (ANI)

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