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UK Parliamentary Committee Criticises Emergency Powers

In a report released on 4 August, the UK Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights called on the Government to end the indefinite detention of foreign terror suspects without trial. The committee, made up of six members of the House of Commons and six members of the House of Lords, also criticised the Government for giving itself such emergency powers and derogating – or opting out – from its usual obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. This had a “corrosive” effect, said the Committee, and these powers are being used “disproportionately” against Britain’s Muslim community. It warned that courts could end up admitting evidence obtained by torturing suspected terrorists, in breach of Britain’s international human rights obligations.