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UK issues list of "unacceptable types of behaviours" - Laws to deport 'preachers of hate' & against formenting terrorism

August 24, 2005

Clarke cracks down on hate preachers

Home Secretary Charles Clarke has taken further steps to exclude and deport 'preachers of hate' with the publication of a list of unacceptable types of behaviour.

Mr Clarke set out the Government's final criteria to crack down on those who stir up hatred following a two-week consultation.

It is intended to make clear that those who would attempt to foment terrorism or provoke others to commit terrorist acts are not welcome in the UK.

Tory leadership hopeful David Cameron, who today likened Islamic terrorists to Nazis, said he would examine in detail the Home Secretary's proposals for deporting people who inspire terrorism.

"I welcome the fact he is saying what he is saying today, because I have been arguing for the last four years that we need to do more to deport those who threaten the future of this country, and it seems to me ridiculous that we can't do that."

But he said he feared the proposals would not go far enough.

"One of the things that is stopping us is the court cases under the European Convention of Human Rights, that says that no matter how dangerous an individual is to the UK, if there is any chance of him being harmed when being sent back to his country of origin, you simply can't do it.

"I think as a country you have to have got to have the right to say to people who may threaten this country, I am sorry you can't come and we are going to deport you."

The list, which the Home Office said was indicative rather than exhaustive, covers the expression of views which:

The actions it covers include:

Mr Clarke has dropped the expression of "views that the Government considers to be extreme and that conflict with the UK's culture of tolerance" from the list published in the original consultation document.

The Home Office said he had decided that the other criteria listed were sufficient to cover the Government's aims.

Mr Clarke said Britain was facing a "real and significant" threat which the Government and law enforcement agencies had to counter.

"That includes tackling those who seek to foster hatred or promote terrorism, sending a strong message that they are not welcome in the UK," he said.

"Individuals who seek to create fear, distrust and division in order to stir up terrorist activity will not be tolerated by the Government or by our communities.

"By publishing the list today, I make it absolutely clear that these are unacceptable behaviours, and will be the grounds for deporting and excluding such individuals from the UK."

Mr Clarke said the powers would be used in a "measured and targeted" way.

"These powers are not intended to stifle free speech or legitimate debate about religions or other issues," he said.

"Britain is rightly proud of its openness and diversity and we must not allow those driven by extremism of any sort to destroy that tradition."

The Government is seeking to reach memorandums of understanding with a number of countries in North Africa and the Middle East to provide assurances that individuals deported there would not face torture or abuse on their return.

But civil rights organisation Liberty warned that such agreements would not satisfy international human rights law.

There will be a statutory right of appeal where the Home Secretary applies the powers personally to exclude people before they come to the UK, although individuals will be able to seek a judicial review of his decision.

There will be a right of appeal where immigration or entry clearance officers refuse entry to the UK on the basis that the Home Secretary has excluded a person.

There will also be a right of appeal where the Home Secretary, or other ministers or officials, decide to deport an individual who is already in the UK

UK terror: Rules of the game are changing


24 August 2005
Britain finalised a new plan on Wednesday to help deport or bar Islamic radicals who promote terrorism in the wake of last month's London bombings and said it will be implemented within days.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke said the list of so-called "unacceptable behaviours" will counter the "real and significant" threat of terrorism.

But Muslim groups and human rights experts criticised the move as too vague and said it might affect legitimate struggles against human rights abuses.

They are also worried about a plan by the British government to deport hard-line Islamists to countries where they may face torture or even execution.

Clarke said the plan will take effect "very quickly. The next few days."

The authorities are already considering a number of names of people engaged in unacceptable activities, he told the BBC in Norwich, eastern England.

"All our foreign posts throughout the world are looking at their particular country ... and, of course, we have got the names that are widely in the public domain at the moment," Clarke said.

He said he has an obligation "to stop people coming into this country to get young people, in particular, to behave in the appalling way we saw in July".

The list is part of a wide-ranging government crackdown on Islamic extremist and other groups in the wake of the July 7 suicide bombings, which killed 56 people, and attempted copycat attacks on July 21.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned earlier this month "the rules of the game are changing".

The British Home Office plan -- compiled after a two-week consultation with Muslim groups and other organisations -- applies both to non-British citizens already in the country and those who want to go there. It will be used as a basis for Clarke to ban or deport people from Britain.

The so-called "unacceptable behaviours" include those that:
  • foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence;
  • seek to provoke others to terrorist acts;
  • foment other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to commit serious criminal acts; or
  • foster hatred that might lead to inter-community violence in Britain.

The list is shorter than a draft proposed by Clarke three weeks ago, but the Home Office said the final version is "indicative rather than exhaustive".

The banned views could be aired by writing, producing or distributing material, public speaking or over an internet site.

They could also be delivered by someone in a position of responsibility, such as a teacher or a community leader.

Those given a deportation order in Britain have the right to appeal, while anyone banned from entering the country can seek a judicial review.

Dismissing fears of an infringement on free speech, Clarke said: "These powers are not intended to stifle free speech or legitimate debate about religions or other issues."

Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Britain, disagreed, arguing the criteria are too vague.

"We are especially concerned that senior Islamic scholars will be barred from the United Kingdom purely on the basis of media witch-hunts orchestrated by pro-Israeli elements," Bunglawala said.

In addition, the United Nations's special rapporteur on torture, Manfred Nowak, said Britain's plan to deport firebrand Islamists to countries with poor human rights records will expose them to "a real risk" of the death penalty.

But Clarke responded angrily, saying the UN should pay more attention to the rights of the victims.

"The human rights of those people who were blown up on the Tube in London on July 7 are, to be quite frank, more important than the human rights of the people who committed those acts," he told the ITV News Channel.

"It is a balance, of course, and I acknowledge that there are real issues that have to be addressed, but I wish the UN would look at human rights in the round rather than simply focusing all the time on the terrorist."

The British government is compiling bilateral agreements with mainly Arab countries -- Jordan was the first to sign -- to deport undesirables from one nation to the other without fear of torture. -- Sapa-AFP

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